Announcing Catherine Larsen-Maguire as new Music Director


We are very proud to announce Catherine Larsen-Maguire as Music Director of the NYOS Orchestras. This is a newly created post, inspired by two critically acclaimed NYOS Symphony Orchestra performances conducted by Catherine this spring, and will see her lead the orchestras from 2024 for a three-year tenure.

It was such a joy for NYOS to work with Catherine in April this year. She brought a fantastic warmth and energy to our Symphony Orchestra as Scotland’s outstanding young musicians rehearsed and performed the grandeur of Mahler’s Symphony No.7 alongside the precision of Lotta Wennäkoski’s Susurrus. Outside the rehearsal room, Catherine shared insights into her practice and inspirations during a special Q&A, helped members of the orchestra get hands-on with a conducting workshop, and even joined the band during our end of course ceilidh.

On her new appointment Catherine said: It is an enormous privilege and a wonderful responsibility to be the new Music Director of the NYOS orchestras. This fantastic organisation is just starting a new chapter in its history, and exciting times are ahead! I am very much looking forward to working with the visionary NYOS team, and most importantly the young musicians of Scotland, on the adventurous projects that are planned for the next three years. 

NYOS Chief Executive, Kirsteen Davidson Kelly, said: Catherine is an exceptional and forward-thinking musician whose professional experience and passion for developing young musicians gives her deep insight into working with youth orchestras. She instantly established a wonderful rapport with the NYOS Symphony Orchestra in Spring 2023, taking the orchestra beyond what seemed possible. Catherine shares NYOS’s vision of inspiring young people to realise their potential as musicians, and we are incredibly excited that NYOS will benefit from her remarkable energy and knowledge over the next three years, helping create inspirational, world-class musical experiences for Scotland’s outstanding young musicians and their audiences.

Catherine added: As a young musician, I was a member of several youth orchestras, and I know how life-changing this experience can be; the music comes first, but it is about so much more than that. NYOS is a place where young instrumentalists can grow as musicians and people, and where friendships and memories that last a lifetime are created. I feel very lucky to be a part of it!

We cannot wait to get started on this adventure with Catherine as we continue to develop and grow NYOS so that all Scotland’s communities can share in its social, personal and cultural benefits.

About Catherine

After ten years as principal bassoonist at the Komische Oper Berlin, Catherine turned her focus exclusively to conducting in 2012, and has since become a sought-after conductor throughout Europe and in Central and South America. Having worked with orchestras including the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle, Slovenian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM in Mexico City as well as the London Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Scottish Ensemble, Catherine made her NYOS debut in 2018 conducting NYOS Senior Orchestra in spring and summer concerts.

Born in Manchester, and now based in Berlin, Catherine read music at Cambridge University and studied the bassoon at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Karajan Academy in Berlin. A musician’s musician, Catherine has successfully collaborated with a diverse array of soloists, including Carolin Widmann, Edgar Moreau, Adam Walker, Sean Shibe, Jean Rondeau, Lucas and Arthur Jussen, Guy Johnston and Sarah Wegener. Embracing the challenges of contemporary music, and fearless about the complexity of a new score, Catherine also works closely with living composers, and has given several world and national premieres including Alexander Goehr’s ‘The Master Said’ with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

With a passion for mentoring the next generation of musicians, as both conductor and educator, Catherine has worked with youth ensembles including the Young Israel Philharmonic and Young Euro Classic Ensemble, given masterclasses in Germany (University of the Arts), Brazil (University of São Paulo, Femusc Festival) and Spain (Real Conservatorio Superior de Granada) and was a jury member for the Besançon Competition (2017- 2021).