After ten years as principal bassoonist at the Komische Oper Berlin, Catherine Larsen-Maguire turned her focus to conducting in 2012, and has since then become a sought-after conductor with orchestras in Europe and South America. The 2021-22 season and beyond sees debuts with the London Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, the Orchestre de Chambre Fribourgeois and the Faroese Symphony Orchestra. She will also return to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin, the Slovenian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife and the OFUNAM in Mexico City, orchestras with which she has developed close relationships.
Catherine also has a special interest in contemporary music, and has directed the first performances of numerous works, including Alexander Goehr’s most recent orchestral work, “The Master Said”, with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Other ensembles with which Catherine regularly collaborates include Ensemble Musikfabrik, Ensemble Ascolta, Klangforum Wien and United Berlin. In September 2021 she made her debut with Ensemble Modern at the Berlin Music Festival, and in April 2022 she will conduct a joint project with the Scottish Ensemble, Ensemble Resonanz and the Trondheim Soloists in the Barrowland Ballroom Glasgow.
Placing great emphasis on working with younger musicians, Catherine is very much in demand as a conductor for youth orchestras and in music colleges around 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 led the conducting team at the annual Femusc Festival in Brazil for five years, and held a guest professorship in conducting at the University of the Arts, Berlin. She gives regular masterclasses in Germany and abroad and was a jury member for the Besançon Competition for Young Conductors in 2017, 2019 and 2021. Future projects include concerts with the Young Israel Philharmonic and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland Symphony Orchestra.
Born in Manchester and now based in Berlin, Catherine read music at Cambridge University and studied the bassoon at the Royal Academy of Music in London, with Klaus Thunemann in Hanover, and at the Karajan Academy in Berlin, playing regularly in the Berlin Philharmonic during this time. Important influences on the development of her conducting career were John Carewe, George Hurst and Vladimir Jurowski, whom she assisted on several occasions early in her career.