Belfast-born Kenneth Montgomery has been working with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century to great acclaim. He has toured with this orchestra in Europe and Asia, and has also conducted them in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and La clemenza di Tito, this latter voted Opera of the Year by readers of Place de L’Opera in 2017. This year he conducts the orchestra in Mozart’s Don Giovanni in Belgium and the Netherlands, makes his Irish National Opera debut in Bizet’s Carmen, and also conducts Massenet’s Thaïs in Salt Lake City.
He conducted a large number of performances for Dutch radio in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw during his years as principal conductor of the Dutch Radio Symphony Orchestra and Groot Omropekoor (Netherlands Radio Choir). And he has conducted over a hundred operas from Cavalli to contemporary composers.
After a period as principal guest conductor of the Ulster Orchestra, in 2007 he became the first Belfast native to hold the post of principal conductor. He has a long-standing relationship with Santa Fe Opera, having conducted 21 productions there since 1982, and he currently holds the post of conductor laureate.
He was the first artistic director of the Dutch National Opera Academy, and he continues to give conducting masterclasses at the Royal Conservatory The Hague and the Amsterdam Conservatory for their combined National Master Conducting course. He was awarded an OBE for services to music in Northern Ireland and an Honorary Doctorate of Literature in Music (DLit(Mus)) from Queen’s University, Belfast.