Born in Jamaica, with Russian ancestry, Andrew Gourlay grew up in the Bahamas, Philippines, Japan and England. A trombonist and pianist by training, he studied conducting at the Royal College of Music, where he prepared Bruckner symphonies for Bernard Haitink and Mozart symphonies for Sir Roger Norrington. He was selected by Gramophone magazine as their ‘One to Watch’, and by BBC Music Magazine as their ‘Rising Star: great artists of tomorrow’.
Andrew Gourlay took up the position of Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León (OSCYL) in January 2016, having been Principal Guest Conductor since the 2014/15 season. He won First Prize at the 2010 Cadaques International Conducting Competition, securing concerts with 29 orchestras around the world. For the next two years he was Assistant Conductor to Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra. He twice replaced Sir Colin Davis at the Barbican, and worked as cover conductor for Kurt Masur, Valery Gergiev and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Recent and future guest engagements include conducting the San Diego Symphony, Norrköping Symphony, London Sinfonietta at the BBC Proms, Philharmonia, the BBC orchestras, RLPO, Hallé, CBSO, RTÉ Symphony, Ulster Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Stavanger Symphony, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Orquesta Sinfonica de Chile, numerous major orchestras throughout Spain, and Björk at the Royal Albert Hall.
Operatic engagements have included the UK premiere of Luca Francesoni’s Quartett for the Royal Opera House, Rusalka and La Tragédie de Carmen for English Touring Opera, and The Marriage of Figaro at the Benjamin Britten International Opera School. He has worked as Assistant Conductor for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. In 2015 he conducted Tippett’s The Ice Break to great critical acclaim in a new production by Graham Vick for Birmingham Opera Company and the CBSO.
Andrew Gourlay has conducted recordings with the London Symphony Orchestra, RLPO, BBCNOW, and Irish Chamber Orchestra. A professional trombonist until his mid twenties, Gourlay played with the Philharmonia, Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, London Sinfonietta and Opera North, and toured South America and Europe as a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester under Claudio Abbado.