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Barry Wordsworth (born 20 February 1948, Worcester Park, Surrey, England) is a British conductor.

From 1989 to 2006, Wordsworth was principal conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, becoming conductor laureate in 2006.[1] He is Music Director of the Royal Ballet Covent Garden having also held this position from 1990 to 1995.[2] He began his second tenure in that post in 2007. Since 1989, he is Music Director and the principal conductor of the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO).[3] In March 2007 at Brighton, Wordsworth caused controversy when he refused to conduct Andrew Gant's new composition A British Symphony the day of the scheduled premiere.[4] He was music director of Birmingham Royal Ballet from 2005 to 2008.

Wordsworth's discography includes works by lesser-known British composers[5] alongside more mainstream pieces. In his career Wordsworth has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras in the UK and overseas. He has made many appearances at the BBC Proms and conducted the Last Night of the Proms in 1993 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In 2003, he was the first conductor to record commercially all nine surviving movements of Constant Lambert's ballet Horoscope (only a suite of five movements had previously been recorded).[6]


  1. ^ "Monday - BBC Concert Orchestra, Afternoon on 3 - BBC Radio 3". BBC. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  2. ^ "Orchestra conductor to pass on the baton". The Argus. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  3. ^ "Orchestra conductor to pass on the baton". The Argus. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  4. ^ Ben Hoyle (2007-03-10). "Premiere ends on sour note as conductor refuses to play". The Times. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
  5. ^ Anthony Holden (2004-04-18). "Handel, Enescu and British Light Classics". The Observer. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
  6. ^ Edward Greenfield (2004-08-13). "Walton: Wise Virgins ballet; Lambert: Horoscope ballet, BBC Concert Orch/ Wordsworth". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-09-13.

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Cultural offices
Preceded by
John Carewe
Principal Conductor, Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ashley Lawrence
Principal Conductor, BBC Concert Orchestra
Succeeded by
Keith Lockhart