William Cole made his U.S. debut conducting Philip Venables’ 4.48 Psychosis at the Prototype Festival in New York in January 2019. With a repertoire from early opera to new compositions, recent highlights include his concert debut with the Britten Sinfonia, Hans Abrahamsen’s Schnee with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, and Purcell’s The Fairy Queen for Waterperry Opera Festival. Active in the opera house and the concert stage, recent and future engagements include projects with the Royal Opera Covent Garden, English National Opera, Operá National du Rhin, Theater Aachen, Music Theatre Wales, Snape Maltings’ Jerwood Opera Programme and The Grange Festival. Engagements cancelled due to Covid-19 include a season as Head of Music for English Touring Opera and his debuts with the London Sinfonietta and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
A committed exponent of new and experimental work, he is Music Director of Filthy Lucre, an immersive mixed-genre collective with whom he has worked with artists from dance, sculpture, and film in music from Xenakis to The Clash. Other work in this area includes major works by Ligeti, Boulez, Grisey, Vivier and Kurtág as well as new works by composers including Patricia Alessandrini, Emily Howard, Shiori Usui and Laurence Osborn. He is currently a member of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group’s NEXT programme and in 2021 he will take part in the Conducting Seminar at Tanglewood Music Center.
Recent performances of his own compositions include The Bells of Lübeck at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s 2017 Composers Day, Her Face Was Full of Woe by Anne Denholm (Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales) in London and Bangkok, and Versa Est in Luctum for the Britten Sinfonia, alongside projects with ensembles including CHROMA, Psappha, BBC Singers and The Hermes Experiment. His music has been broadcast regularly on BBC Radio 3.
William has led and facilitated workshops for English Touring Opera’s Turtle Song project, Britten Sinfonia’s Academy programme, Opera Holland Park’s Inspire series and Wigmore Hall’s Music for Thought programme. He recently devised and led a Schubert in Schools pilot programme in association with Music in the Round and Roderick Williams.
William studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where he was a Repetiteur Fellow and is now a visiting coach.