Catherine Larsen-Maguire was born in Manchester and is now based in Berlin. Her repertoire ranges from the baroque to the 21st century; she has a special interest in contemporary music and has directed the first performances of numerous works. 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. She made her operatic debut at the Komische Oper in 2009, conducting the German premiere of Elisabeth Naske’s „Die Rote Zora“.
Catherine Larsen-Maguire has shared the concert platform with internationally acclaimed singers and soloists; orchestras she has conducted include the Bremen, Magdeburg, Augsburg and Nuremburg Philharmonic Orchestras, the orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin, the Belgrade Philharmonic, the Slovenian Radio Orchestra, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, OFUNAM in Mexico City, Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa, the orchestra of the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Musikfabrik and Ensemble Resonanz.
Placing great emphasis on working with young professionals, Larsen-Maguire is very much in demand as a conductor for youth orchestras and in music colleges 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. Becoming increasingly well-known as a teacher of conducting, she held a guest professorship in conducting at the University of the Arts, Berlin and was a faculty member at the annual Femusc Festival in Brazil for five years. She gives regular masterclasses in Germany and abroad, and was a jury member for the Besançon Competition for Young Conductors in 2017 and 2019.
The season 2019/20 and beyond will see Catherine conduct world premieres at the Ruhrtriennale in Germany and the Bridge Strings Festival in Glasgow, and make her debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, OSUSP in Sao Paulo, the Orquesta de Cámara de Chile, the Orchestre de Picardie and the Young Israel Philharmonic. She will also return to Granada, China, several orchestras in Mexico, the Slovenian Radio Orchestra, and to summer festivals in the USA.
Catherine Larsen-Maguire 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. She won the top prize in the 1996 Prague Spring Bassoon Competition and has played as guest principal bassoonist in many of the major orchestras in Germany and England, working regularly with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle and Kirill Petrenko.