Helen Harrison, Music Director
warm, natural and communicative presence on the podium Helen inspires exciting and compelling performances from the artists she collaborates with from orchestras, opera companies and choirs.
She is the Music Director and Conductor of the award winning Blackpool Symphony Orchestra, Preston Opera, Lytham St. Annes Choral Society and the Lancashire Youth Symphony Orchestra. She works regularly with ensembles including Leeds Conservatoire (including a Side By Side with the Orchestra of Opera North), Northern Opera Group, Outreach Opera, The Christie Musical Theatre Company, Flat Pack Music and Salford Choral Society.
Helen read Music at Cambridge University and studied Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music. During the year of Lockdown Helen has been studying with Jessica Cottis.
Helen has just returned from participating in the Jette Parker Young Artist Women Conductors' International Masterclass held in July 2021 conducting the City of London Sinfonia. In June 2021 she was invited by the Royal Philharmonic Society to work with the Royal Northern Sinfonia as one of four emerging conductors in a project to advance gender equality on the podium.
Selected for the inaugural Women Conductors Course in September 2018 run by the Royal Opera House, the Royal Philharmonic Society and the National Opera Studio Helen has subsequently been selected to take part in a range of sessions run by the Royal Opera House including 'Lockdown/SkillUp' in June 2020 working with Sian Edwards and Jessica Cottis.
She has also conducted in International Masterclasses held at the RNCM with Mark Heron, Clark Rundell, Nicolas Pasquet, Gergeley Madaras, Matthew Wood and Morten Wensberg.
A passionate believer in the power of classical music to change lives, Helen is a board member for Orchestras Live and chairs the Finance Committee. Orchestras Live believe orchestras are for everyone and that live orchestral music has the power to inspire people for a lifetime. Working across England, Orchestras Live connect communities with world class orchestral experiences delivered by renowned professional orchestras.
Helen is also a regular podcast contributor to Operacast covering the latest opera news, reviews and general chat from the opera world. She recently appeared on a panel for the Royal Philharmonic Society exploring the impact of the pandemic on the lives and work of classical musicians.