Hilary Griffiths is a British conductor now living in Germany. He has held appointments as General Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra and Opera in Regensburg, Chief Conductor of the State Opera, Prague, Music Director of the Oberhausen Opera, Principal Staff Conductor at the Cologne Opera and Director of the Opera Studio, and Music Director of the Eutin Opera Festival. He has worked as a guest conductor throughout Europe, has made several visits to the Far East, Australia and South America, and has appeared at the festivals of Edinburgh, Camden, Schwetzingen, Wiesbaden, Würzburg, Gmunden, Prague, Litomyšl, Miskolc, Tenerife, Hong Kong and Perth (Australia). Since August 2009 he has been Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Wuppertal Opera.
Hilary Griffiths was born in Leamington Spa, England. He was a chorister at King's College, Cambridge and later received an honours degree in mathematics at Trinity College, Oxford. His musical studies continued at the Royal Academy of Music, the London Opera Centre, the Accademia Chigiana in Siena and at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, where he became a prizewinner at the international conducting competitions of AIDEM in Florence and Marinuzzi in San Remo.
He has conducted more than one hundred operas and a very broad repertoire of symphonic works: recent high points included Britten's War Requiem in the Rudolfinum, Prague, Holst's The Planets and Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie in the Audimax, Regensburg, Bruckner 9 in the Regensburg cathedral and Das Lied von der Erde and Dvorák's New World Symphony to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the orchestra of the State Opera, Prague. He conducted a complete cycle of the Beethoven symphonies and concertos in Cologne and has broadcast concerts with the West German Radio Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Bogotá and the Virtuosi di Praga. He conducted an extended tour of Spain with the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra and toured Japan with the State Opera Prague and with the Oberhausen opera. He has conducted much contemporary music including several world premieres and German premieres, many programmes for children and young people, concerts with music from operettas and musicals, and New Year concerts.
He recently conducted the first modern performances of symphonies by Pokorny (in his own edition) and his own orchestrations of the French songs by Wagner. He has recorded CDs of works by Jommelli and Weber and complete recordings of Tiefland, La Bohème (Leoncavallo) and I vespri siciliani. His DVD of Il matrimonio segreto is available on Euro Arts and his performance of Der Freischütz was televised by NDR (North German Television).
For the Tenerife Opera Festival he has conducted Il matrimonio segreto, Entführung, Un ballo in maschera, Rigoletto and Madama Butterfly. Other productions during the last few years included Erwartung for the Prague Spring Festival, Porgy & Bess for the State Opera Istanbul, Tosca, Aida and Zauberflöte at the Cologne Opera and Leoncavallo’s La Bohème at the Prague State Opera where he also conducted a new production of Tiefland in 2003 on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the original production there. From 2005 until 2008 he was a professor at the Mannheim University of Music and Music Director of the Opera School. During this time he conducted among other projects new productions of Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci, Der Freischütz, Il trovatore and Der Vogelhändler at the Eutin Festival, Tosca, Carmen, La Bohème and a new production of I vespri siciliani at the State Opera Prague, concerts entitled Belcanto in der Oper at the National Theatre, Mannheim and The Bartered Bride in Kaiserslautern.
During the years 2009/10 he conducted various symphony concerts, a new production of Le nozze di Figaro for the Colombian Opera in Bogotá, Nabucco, Aida, Rigoletto, Tosca, Madama Butterfly and the first Czech performances of Death in Venice at the State Opera, Prague, and Fanferlieschen Schönefüßchen (Schwertsik), La porta delle legge (Sciarrino), L'Elisir d'amore, Fidelio, Greek Passion (Martinu), Eine florentinische Tragödie & Gianni Schicchi and The Messiah in Wuppertal. In June 2010 he conducted Beethoven’s 9th. Symphony to celebrate 60 years of the Eutin Festival and in July made his New York debut conducting the U.S. premiere of La porta della legge at the Lincoln Center Festival. He follows this with new productions of La Bohème, Arabella and Idomeneo for the Wuppertal opera, Il barbiere di Siviglia in Bogotá and Der Rosenkavalier at the State Opera Prague.