Born in London, Nicholas Braithwaite completed his formal musical studies at the Royal Academy of Music, at the Festival masterclasses in Bayreuth, and with Hans Swarowsky in Vienna.
Mr Braithwaite’s career has been unusually wide-ranging, both musically and geographically. He has held positions as Music Director or Principal Conductor from Norway to New Zealand and many places in between. His years as Principal Conductor of the Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras were acclaimed by critics, public and players, and were notable for raising both standards and attendances. The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra grew to be recognised as one of Australia’s finest ensembles, and when ABC Classics released his recording with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra of Shostakovich Symphony No. 8, the Canberra Times said “Since his appointment as Chief Conductor, Braithwaite has brought the ASO to a high performance standard at which they can match any of the eastern states orchestras”.
Concurrently with his Australian activities he was Principal Conductor of the Manchester Camerata, having been the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor for many years. Other orchestral appointments have included Permanent Guest Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and Associate Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Mr Braithwaite has been a frequent guest conductor of all the major orchestras in the UK and has toured Japan and Korea with the London Philharmonic Orchestra as Associate Conductor to Sir Georg Solti.
He has appeared with, among others, the Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre National de France, the Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Odense Symphony, Aarhus Symphony, Aalborg Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Queensland Symphony, West Australian Symphony, Danish National Radio Symphony and the Collegium Musicum Copenhagen.
The last few years have seen the release by Lyrita Recorded Edition of many recordings conducted by Mr Braithwaite with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, London Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras of music by Holst, Cooke, Bridge, Wordsworth, Berkeley, Moeran, Rawsthorne, Stanford, Sterndale Bennett and Coleridge Taylor, as well as a CD of orchestral arrangements by Henry Wood, including his version of Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition.
Mr Braithwaite saw his first opera at the age of two months - a dress rehearsal conducted by his father, Warwick Braithwaite. This was the start of a life long involvement with opera during which he has conducted more than 70 different operas with many companies around the world.
He has held positions as Music Director and Chief Conductor of Gothenberg’s Stora Teater, Music Director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera and Associate Principal Conductor of English National Opera, where his performances of Wagner’s Ring cycle received widespread critical and public acclaim. In 1987 he took the Gothenburg Stora Teater production of Katerina Ismailova to the newly restored Semper Oper in Dresden. He has also appeared with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Norwegian Opera, State Opera of South Australia, Opera Australia and New Zealand Opera with whom in recent years he has conducted productions of Peter Grimes and Boris Godunov. Last season he conducted Capriccio for Opera Australia and this season he will conduct Macbeth for Opera Queensland.