Julian Clayton

Key details:

Guildhall Young Artists | Junior Guildhall
Portrait of Julian Clayton


Julian Clayton is one of the most dynamic and exciting British conductors on the concert platform today. His extensive repertoire of classical, opera, choral and ballet scores is complemented by his skills as a pops conductor and presenter and by his enviable reputation as a music educator. Julian studied violin and conducting at Dartington, Toulouse and Birmingham. Following an early career as a violinist he made his professional debut as a conductor with London Festival Ballet, conducting an extensive series of Swan Lake at London’s Royal Festival Hall. 

A prize at the International Conductors’ Workshop in the Czech Republic resulted in engagements in Zlin, Olomouc, Salzburg and most recently, several visits to Hradec Králové. He has worked with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, the Magyar Radio and Television Orchestra, the Surrey Sinfonietta, the Oxford Sinfonia, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra and most recently, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra and the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic. Also very active in the world of opera, he has conducted seasons for Opera-on-a-Shoestring and Civit Hills Opera. 

Julian Clayton has gained an enviable reputation as one of the foremost trainers of young musicians and as such has worked with many student and conservatoire orchestras and opera departments in the UK and abroad including conducting the massed strings of the London International String Quartet Symposium where he also acted as assistant to Lord Menuhin and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he is currently Resident Conductor at Junior Guildhall. In addition to broadcasting on radio and television, Julian’s commercial recordings include five discs with the orchestra of Chetham’s School of Music, all of which met with wide critical acclaim. His recording of Elgar’s First Symphony was reviewed by Michael Kennedy as “phenomenal” and a recording of music by Charles Camilleri with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra received wide critical acclaim and extensive broadcasts by radio stations throughout the world. Julian has enjoyed highly successful debuts with the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union, the Limburgs Symphony Orchestra, Maastricht, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, the Classics Concert Orchestra, the Scottish Philharmonic Orchestra, the Aberdeen Sinfonietta and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, with whom he has appeared regularly both in the concert hall and the recording studio. 

From 2007 until 2012 Julian was Chief Executive and Artistic Director of The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland, performing, touring, recording and broadcasting extensively with these outstanding ensembles in the UK and overseas.