Mark Heron is a Scottish conductor known for dynamic and well-rehearsed performances across an unusually wide range of repertoire, and his expertise as an orchestral trainer.
As guest conductor he has appeared with the, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Concert, Philharmonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Psappha, Meininger Hofkapelle, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia, Pori Sinfonietta, St Petersburg Festival Orchestra and many more. He is the Music Director of the Nottingham Philharmonic and Professor and Head of Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music. At the RNCM he works regularly with all of the College’s orchestras and ensembles and runs the world-renowned conducting programmes. Mark is the conductor laureate of the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra and for ten years was Director of Orchestras at the University of Manchester.
Dedicated to working with young musicians, in addition to his role at the RNCM, Mark has conducted ensembles from the Royal Academy of Music, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa, Tilburg & Maastricht Conservatories, the National Youth Wind Orchestras of Great Britain, Wales and Israel, Slovenian National Youth Orchestra, and many more.
Mark has a keen interest in contemporary music and has given world premieres of many important works. He has collaborated with leading composers such as Kalevi Aho, Sir George Benjamin, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Unsuk Chin, Tansy Davies, Detlev Glanert, Heiner Goebbels, Anders Hillborg, Giya Kancheli, Magnus Lindberg, Sir James McMillan, Colin Matthews, Christopher Rouse, Kaija Saariaho, and Mark Anthony Turnage. In 2018 he gave the the world premiere of Adam Gorb’s opera The Path to Heaven, and in 2006 the European premiere of American composer Daron Hagen’s opera, Bandanna. He has recorded dozens of CDs with the RNCM Wind Orchestra featuring contemporary wind repertoire on labels such as Chandos, Naxos, NMC, ASC and Polyphonic. Other recording projects have included CDs with the BBC Concert Orchestea and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and numerous radio broadcasts with BBC orchestras.
Mark studied at the RSAMD and the RNCM. Following a successful chamber music career and freelance work with many of the UK’s professional symphony orchestras, he undertook conducting studies at the RNCM and in master classes with Neeme & Paavo Järvi, Jorma Panula, and Sir Mark Elder. He worked with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra on their mentoring programme for young conductors.
Alongside his conducting engagements, Mark is recognised as one of the world’s foremost conducting teachers, and students of his have achieved notable success internationally. As well as his work across all of the RNCM’s renowned conducting programmes, he developed an elite undergraduate conducting programme at the University of Manchester, is a visiting professor to the Royal Air Force and appears often as a guest at conducting courses and master classes all over the world.