Christopher Seaman

Christopher Seaman

Conductor

• Born 1942

Biography

Conductor Christopher Seaman has been especially noted for stints with several major American orchestras. He has a large recording catalog that has focused on the late Romantics and music of the early 20th century.

Seaman was born in Faversham, in Kent, near Canterbury. Like so many other British musicians, Seaman was first exposed to serious musical performance in a cathedral choir, in his case, the one at Canterbury Cathedral. He attended The King's School in Canterbury and went on to King's College, Cambridge, where he studied percussion as well as conducting. From 1964 to 1968 he was the London Philharmonic Orchestra's principal timpanist. He continued to hope for a conducting career, however, and in 1968 he was appointed assistant conductor of the Scottish Symphony Orchestra, serving until 1970. The following year he was appointed principal conductor, remaining in that post until 1977. Seaman has also conducted the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain on many occasions. He has continued to appear both in Britain and on the European continent as a guest conductor, leading such groups as the Czech Philharmonic, the Bergen Philharmonic, as well as most of the major British orchestras. However, since the late 1970s most of Seaman's regular engagements have been in the U.S., with the exception of a period as chief guest conductor at the Guildhall School of Music. Seaman was resident conductor of the Baltimore Symphony from 1987 to 1998, and music director of the Naples Philharmonic in Florida from 1993 to 2004. He became the music director of the Rochester Philharmonic in 1998, remaining in that post until 2011 and continuing as conductor laureate for life. Seaman also served as artistic advisor to the San Antonio Symphony from 2009 to 2011, making conducting appearances there. He has made guest conducting appearances with major American symphony orchestras including those of Seattle, Detroit, and Atlanta.

In Rochester, he increased the size of audiences with a lecture series called "Symphony 101" that won an ASCAP award. He also wrote a book, Inside Conducting, that was published in 2012.

Seaman's recordings have mostly been made with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the Rochester Philharmonic, but in 2019 he led the Britten Sinfonia on an album of music by Herbert Howells, also featuring the King's College Choir, Cambridge.

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