Catherine Larsen Maguire

Catherine Larsen Maguire was born in Manchester, England, and is now based in Berlin, where she is guest professor of conducting at the University of the Arts. After ten years as principal bassoonist in the orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin, where she also directed concerts and operatic performances, she decided to concentrate exclusively on conducting in 2012. She has worked with orchestras such as the Belgrade Philharmonic, the Bremen, Magdeburg, Augsburg and Nuremburg Philharmonics, the Krasnoyarsk Chamber Orchestra, the Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra, the orchestra of the Sunflower Festival in Kansas, the Youth Orchestra of Bahia, the South African National Youth Wind Orchestra and the Sinfonietta 92 in Berlin.


Her musical education began with violin lessons at the age of eight, before taking up the bassoon aged 16. She read music at Cambridge University, where she also conducted the university orchestra. A year at the Royal Academy of Music, London, studying bassoon and conducting, was followed by further study with Klaus Thunemann in Hanover, and then at the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic.


In 1996 Catherine Larsen Maguire won the top prize in the Prague Spring Bassoon Competition. She has played as guest principal bassoon in the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic and BBC Symphony Orchestras, working with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Bernhard Haitink and Sir Simon Rattle.


Catherine’s repertoire ranges from the baroque to the 21st century; she has a special interest in contemporary music and has directed several first performances. She made her operatic debut at the Komische Oper in 2009, conducting the german premiere of Elisabeth Naske’s „Die Rote Zora“; this was revived successfully in 2011 and is available on DVD.


Catherine Larsen Maguire places great emphasis on working with younger musicians, and is very much in demand as a conductor and coach for youth orchestras all round the world. As part of the Young Euro Classic Festival she made her debut in the Konzerthaus in Berlin, and returned a year later to conduct a world premiere with the German Youth Ballet; this was followed by a tour of China with the same group. She is professor of conducting at the annual Femusc festival in Brazil.


Catherine’s recent projects include concerts with the Sinfonietta 92 in the Philharmonie in Berlin, concerts with the orchestra of the University of the Arts, projects with various youth orchestras.