Catherine Larsen-Maguire was born in Manchester and is now based in Berlin. After ten years as principal bassoonist at the Komische Oper Berlin, where she also directed concerts and operatic performances, she began to concentrate exclusively on conducting in 2012.
Catherine Larsen-Maguire’s repertoire ranges from the baroque to the 21st century; she has a special interest in contemporary music and has directed the first performances of several works. She made her operatic debut at the Komische Oper in 2009, conducting the German premiere of Elisabeth Naske’s „Die Rote Zora“. The production was revived in 2011 and is available on DVD.
Catherine Larsen-Maguire has shared the concert platform with internationally acclaimed singers and soloists including Stella Doufexis, Martin Helmchen, Christiane Iven, Alex Klein, Ricardo Castro and many others. She has conducted the Bremen, Magdeburg, Augsburg and Nuremburg Philharmonics, the orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra, the Belgrade Philharmonic, Ensemble Musikfabrik, Ensemble United Berlin, the Krasnoyarsk Chamber Orchestra, the Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra, the orchestra of the Sunflower Festival in the United States, the Youth Orchestra of Bahia, the South African National Youth Wind Orchestra and the Sinfonietta 92 and ensembleKOM in Berlin.
Larsen-Maguire places great emphasis on working with younger musicians, and is very much in demand as a conductor and coach for youth orchestras all round the world. As part of the Young Euro Classic Festival she made her debut in Berlin’s Konzerthaus, returning a year later to conduct a world premiere with the German Youth Ballet; this was followed by a tour of China with the same group. She travels regularly to Brazil, Mexico, Asia and throughout Europe working with national youth orchestras and summer festival academies, and leads the conducting team at the annual Femusc Festival in Brazil. She held a guest professorship in conducting at the University of the Arts, Berlin, from 2014 – 16.
The 2015/16 season included debuts with Ensemble Resonanz, Ensemble Ascolta, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra and the Belgrade Philharmonic. In 2017 she will debut with the Slovenian Radio Orchestra, Klangforum Wien, the Yun Ensemble in South Korea, and at the Herrenchiemsee and Buzzard’s Bay festivals, as well as returning to the Sunflower Music Festival in Kansas.
Catherine Larsen-Maguire read music at Cambridge University, where she also conducted the university orchestra. A year at the Royal Academy of Music, London, studying bassoon and conducting, was followed by further study in Hanover with Klaus Thunemann, and at the Berlin Philharmonic’s Karajan Academy in Berlin. She won the top prize in the 1996 Prague Spring Bassoon Competition and has played as guest Principal Bassoon in the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic and BBC Symphony Orchestras, working with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Bernhard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle and Kirill Petrenko.