Claus Efland – Musical Director

Danish-born Claus Efland is one of the most widely-respected and versatile conductors of his generation. Appointed as the Bardi Symphony Orchestra’s Musical Director in 2008, his inspirational leadership has developed the Orchestra to consistent critical acclaim and taken it to what one reviewer described as “levels of performance rare in an orchestra of this kind”. Born in 1974 in Denmark, his early musical studies were as a violinist. He then moved to London, where he studied conducting at the Royal College of Music with John Carewe and Neil Thomson. This was then followed by a period of study at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris with Janós Fürst, and his studies were further consolidated by a period of work with the Dresden Staatskapelle when, at the invitation of the late Sir Colin Davis, Claus acted as his assistant.

Claus has received numerous awards for his conducting including the Theodore Stier Prize for Conducting, and the prestigious Scandinavian Léonie Sonning Award. In addition he was a prizewinner in the 2004 Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in London.

In the orchestral field he has worked with many of the leading British orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Concert Orchestra. In Europe, as well as appearing with all the major Danish orchestras, he has appeared with a number of German orchestras including the Staatskapelle Dresden, the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the Lithuanian National Symphony orchestra. Further afield in South America, he has conducted the Orquesta Filharmonica de Mexico City, as well as orchestras in Brazil and Argentina.

As an opera conductor, Claus has directed productions at internationally renowned opera houses including the Staatsoper unter den Linden in Berlin, Komische Oper Berlin, Teatro dell’Opera in Rome and Teatro Lirico Sperimentale as part of the world famous classical music festival in Spoleto. In June 2015, he was the recipient of the prestigious Reumert Award, Denmark’s leading theatre award, for his work in conducting a new opera Andre Bygninger (Other Buildings) by the Californian-born composer Andy Pape. The opera was first staged in 2015 by Opera Funen, Denmark, with Claus conducting the Odense Symphony Orchestra for the production which was named The Opera of the Year. The opera will once again be revived in 2017. Forthcoming appearances in the operatic field include work with Danish National Opera Madama Butterfly, an opera gala with the Staatsorchester Frankfurt/Oder, and further performances of Andre Bygninger with Opera Funen.

Claus is currently signed to work exclusively with the Challenge Recording label. His first CD for the label with Sinfonietta Riga entitled Concertante was issued in 2013, followed by a second Nordic Atmospheres.

After the success of Nielsen´s 3rd Symphony with the Bardi Symphony Orchestra in 2016, Claus went on to Sweden to conduct Lund´s Stadsorkester in Carl Nielsen´s 2nd Symphony (Four Temperaments). This performance attracted critical acclaim and was regarded as one of the finest musical achievements ever in Lund. The concert also included Dvorák´s Cello Concerto with Per Nyström as a soloist and Divertimento by the young Estonian composer Mihkel Kerem, both of whom have appeared previously with the Bardi Symphony Orchestra. Further appearances in 2016 included a visit to Lithuania and a concert with the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra, where Beethoven´s 7th Symphony was received with standing ovations, and in May 2016 he appeared in performances of Mozart Great C minor Mass with Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra from Teatro dell’Opera in Rome. In the autumn of 2016 he conducted the opening concerts of the Bardi Symphony Orchestra’s 30th Anniversary season including a performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius which included a chorus of singers from Leicester’s three leading choirs.

In January 2017 Claus once again conducted, for the seventh year in succession, a sell-out eleven concert series of New Year Concerts in Berlin’s renowned Konzerthaus. The concerts, with the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg, were received enthusiastically by a total of over 15,000 concert-goers. Recently back from return visits to South America where he conducted sell-out concerts in Brazil and Argentina, further plans for 2017 include visits to Italy, and a first appearance in Greece at the prestigious Megaron Concert Hall in Athens.