Issue date: 16 November 2000

Peter Stark is to be awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music in recognition of his outstanding contribution to music and in particular to school and youth orchestras in Bristol and the West Country.

Peter Stark has made a particular contribution to youth orchestras in the West. He was conductor of the County of Avon Schools Symphony Orchestra from 1989-1997 and the West of England Schools Symphony Orchestra from 1997-1999. He has appeared many times as conductor and presenter for the schools carol concerts in the Colston Hall, Bristol as well as for the English Chamber Orchestra’s educational projects at Bristol Cathedral and with the Bristol Philharmonic Orchestra Trust’s projects at St George’s, Brandon Hill. He has recently taken up an appointment as Artistic Director to the Bristol Philharmonic Orchestra.

Peter Stark trained at the Royal College of Music in London, and completed his studies at the Meisterkurse in Vienna with Sir Charles Mackerras.

The long and distinguished musical career of Peter Stark began as a violinist with the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1977 he received four awards from the Royal College of Music: the Tagore Gold Medal; the Arthur Bliss Prize, and the Adrian Boult and the Theodore Stier Conducting Prizes. In 1979 he was awarded an Allcard Grant from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. He has been a Professor of Violin with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain since 1985.

Since 1990 Peter Stark has worked as a freelance conductor. He has worked extensively with the Welsh National Opera Company and with several orchestras including the English Chamber Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the English Northern Philharmonia.

Peter Stark has an established reputation as one of Britain’s finest conductors. International performances have taken him all over the world. He appears regularly at the Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican Centre and has recorded Mahler and Strauss symphonies for the BBC. He is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College of Music, London, Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London and a Graduate of the Royal Schools of Music. Since 1997 he has been Senior Fellow of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at Trinity College of Music, London.

The Honorary Degree will be conferred at the awards ceremony of the Faculty of Engineering on 21 November at Bristol Cathedral at 11.30am.

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