Worthing Symphony Orchestra’s long-serving conductor John Gibbons has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
"I was quite overwhelmed to receive the news of the award - not in my wildest imagination had I ever imagined that such an honour would be bestowed upon me,” John said.
"I have always taken my own path in the musical world and programmed music, often unfamiliar, that I passionately believe in.
"I have been honoured to lead WSO for the last 21 years - a period of much evolution as we bring music to people of all ages in the West Sussex area,”
John has conducted over forty acclaimed opera productions including an array of Italian operas at Opera Holland Park and has been principal conductor of West Sussex’s professional orchestra – Worthing Symphony Orchestra – for over twenty years.
John’s career reflects his belief in working with musicians over a sustained period of time, a process exemplified by his work with Ealing Symphony Orchestra whose programmes typify John’s provocative and stimulating programming which have successfully introduced many rarities from around the world in programmes balanced with popular classics that are attractive to the ordinary concert goer.
John has conducted most of the major UK orchestras, mostly recently the RPO at the Malcolm Arnold Festival in Northampton and the BBC Concert Orchestra at Snape Maltings for the William Alwyn Festival and the centenary showing of “The Battle of the Somme” at the Royal Festival Hall.
International work includes opera productions in the USA, Singapore, South Africa and Italy and concerts across Europe including the Romanian premiere of Walton’s First Symphony with the Georges Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra.
Recordings include two Mozart Piano Concertos with Idil Biret and the London Mozart Players, Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony, Finale completed by Nors Josephson, with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra for the Danacord Lable, the string concertos of Arthur Benjamin with the RSNO for the Dutton Epoch Label and a disc of William Wordsworth with the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra for Toccata Classics – this recording, made in January 2018, features Symphonies 4 & 8, the Divertimento in D and the Variations on a Scottish theme