Univ.-Prof. Sian Edwards


Sian Edwards studied with Sir Charles Groves, Timothy Reynish and Norman Del Mar before becoming a pupil of the legendary Prof I.A. Musin at the Leningrad Conservatoire. Winning the first Leeds Conductors’ Competition in 1984 led to invitations to work in Britain with the  CBSO, RSNO, Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne and the Royal Opera, where she made her debut conducting Tippett’s The Knot Garden in 1988. She subsequently conducted Rigoletto and Madame Butterfly there, as well as performances for the ROH Linbury Theatre. She has also frequently worked abroad, including with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, St Petersburg Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Munich Radio Symphony and the Turku and Tampere orchestras in Finland.

Always interested in new music, Sian has conducted many world premieres, including Mark Anthony Turnage’s operas Greek and Coraline; Through His Teeth by Luke Bedford and Judith Weir’s Blond Eckbert, which was staged at ENO in 1994 when Sian Edwards was Music Director there. After leaving ENO she continued her freelance career both in the UK and abroad, conducting many performances particularly in Frankfurt - including Peter Grimes, Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth, Queen of Spades and Ades’ Tempest for Oper Frankfurt, and concerts with the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra and Ensemble Modern. Other projects include The Death of Klinghoffer with Finnish National Opera and concerts with MusikFabrik Koln and the London Sinfonietta. She has also appeared several times in Vienna, with the Theater an der Wien, performing Andre Previn’s Streetcar Named Desire, Dead Man Walking by Jake Heggie, Britten’s Rape of Lucretia and the Peter Konwitschny production of La Traviata, and in concerts with the ORF Radio Orchestra and Klangforum Wien.

More recently Sian has worked with Scottish Opera on productions of The Rake’s Progress and Bluebeard’s Castle, and has conducted Katya Kabanova for Opera North and Opera Holland Park, where she also conducted Olivia Fuchs’ acclaimed production of Tchaikowsky’s Iolanta. She returned to English National Opera for a new production of Orpheus in the Underworld in October 2019 and in 2020 worked on Britten’s Midsummer night’s Dream for the RAM. In 2022 Sian conducted Aida for the Royal Swedish Opera and the UK premiere of Little Women by Mark Adamo for Opera Holland Park, as well as concerts with orchestras in London, Darmstadt and Geneva and projects with the London Sinfonietta.

 In 2013 Sian Edwards was appointed Head of Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music, where she directs the Masters course, as well as the Glover-Edwards Conducting Programme. In July 2018 the Academy awarded her an Honorary Fellowship, and in January 2022 she was appointed Professor at the University of London. In October 2022 Sian Edwards also took up a position teaching conducting at the University of Music and the Performing Arts, Vienna.


(c) Katie VanDyck