Music Director

Jacobus de Jager

Jacobus de Jager is the most recent winner of the SA Conductors’ Competition and was one of the eight semi-finalists of the 2023 Herbert von Karajan Young Conductor’s Award Salzburg. Jacobus was the 2021 and 2022 resident conductor of the Stellenbosch University Symphony Orchestra and has guest conducted South African orchestras such as the Cape Town Philharmonic, Mzansi National Philharmonic, Free State Symphony, Eastern Cape Philharmonic, Johannesburg Festival and Cape Town Pops Orchestras.

Jacobus is currently studying MMus Orchestral Conducting with Martyn Brabbins at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. As part of his studies and during competitions and masterclasses in Europe, he has conducted the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of Scottish Opera, Hebrides Ensemble, Red Note Ensemble, Athens Philharmonia Orchestra, Silesian Philharmonic, RCS Symphony Orchestra, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik, and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland.

Jacobus has received masterclasses from conductors such as Paavo Järvi, Marin Alsop, Neeme Järvi, John Wilson, Antony Hermus, Sian Edwards, Leonid Grin, Ryan Bancroft, James Lowe, Michalis Economou, Kristjan Järvi, Stuart Stratford, Arjan Tien, Victor Yampolsky, Ryan McAdams, and Daniel Raiskin. His previous conducting teachers include Daniel Boico in South Africa, and Alexander Polishchuk in St Petersburg. In 2023 he was one of the 16 active participants in the Järvi Academy at the Pärnu Music Festival in Estonia, where he worked with the Järvi Academy Sinfonietta and Youth Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his conducting studies, Jacobus holds a Bachelor and Master of Music (Cum Laude) in piano performance from the University of Stellenbosch, having studied with Nina Schumann and Luis Magalhães.

Jacobus de Jager

Previous Music Directors

Oliver Cope

Oliver Cope is a 24 year old British conductor. Having graduated with a Scholarship and First Class Honours from Clare College, Cambridge, he has worked with orchestras and opera companies across the United Kingdom, and has studied with prominent conductors including Ryan Bancroft, Jonathan Heyward, Ryan Wigglesworth and Antony Hermus. He started studying on the Masters Programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under Martyn Brabbins in 2022, having been awarded the ABRSM Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Award. Founding his first orchestra at the age of 16, Oliver has always had a passion for forming and developing new ensembles.

As the founder and conductor of the 2020 Chamber Orchestra, Oliver has conducted a wide range of repertoire in concerts across Cambridge and London. These concerts have included fully-staged productions of Bizet’s Carmen, as well as concerti conducted from the harp, his principal instrument. Oliver’s studies in Glasgow have led him to conduct a number of professional ensembles, including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestra of Scottish Opera, Red Note Ensemble, and the RCS Symphony Orchestra.

Professionally, he has worked as an assistant with the RSNO and National Symphony Orchestra Dublin, and will conduct for recording sessions of contemporary works in Edinburgh for Delphian Records in April 2024. Whilst in London, Oliver has also worked with several local orchestras, such as the North London Symphony Orchestra, and has worked as a conductor / repetiteur for Waterperry Opera Festival, St Pauls Opera, and Grimeborn.

Oliver Cope

Peggy Wu

Hong Kong-born conductor and pianist Peggy Wu has been described as a “hugely insightful musician” and is known for her dynamic presence on the podium.

Peggy has worked with major orchestras in Europe, including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Opera, Red Note Ensemble, Berlin Sinfonietta and Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra. In the 2022-23 season, she assisted Sian Edwards on the world premiere of Lliam Patterson’s Catriona and the Dragon, commissioned by the Lammermuir Festival. She was also the Assistant Conductor of British Youth Opera’s production of Vaughan-Williams’ Pilgrim’s Progress. Peggy is a current Britten Pears Young Artist.

Peggy's recent performance highlights also include guest-conducting the Scottish street orchestra, Nevis Ensemble, on their Central Scotland Tour. She also worked with McOpera Scotland, where she conducted a side-by-side project with musicians from the Orchestra of Scottish Opera and students from the Douglas Academy.

Peggy was Chief Conductor of the St. Bartholomew’s Chamber Orchestra (SBCO) from 2019 to 2022. During her tenure, she led the orchestra through the COVID-19 pandemic and oversaw SBCO’s continued engagement with the community on digital platforms, as well as the orchestra’s return to in-person rehearsals and live performances. Most notably, Peggy led the SBCO in a semi-staged production of Cosí Fan Tutte as both conductor and producer, marking the orchestra’s first venture into opera. The project involved a successful fundraiser campaign, where the SBCO crowd-funded the entirety of the production’s costs. Peggy is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Conducting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, studying with Martyn Brabbins. Prior to this, she graduated from the Royal College of Music, studying piano with Norma Fisher and conducting with Howard Williams. She is also mentored by pianists Maria João Pires and Dang Thai Son.

As a pianist, Peggy has won numerous prizes, including second and audience prize at the Birmingham International Piano Competition and second prize (first prize not awarded) at the Windsor International Piano Competition. She was also a finalist at the New York International Piano Competition and a semi-finalist at the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition. As a soloist, she has appeared with the Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hong Kong ESF Orchestra, and has given recitals at many music festivals, such as the International Holland Music Sessions, ISA Music Festival (Austria), and Bowdoin International Music Festival (USA). She held a Young Artist residency at the PianoTexas International Academy and Festival in 2016.

Prior to entering Conservatoire, Peggy achieved full marks in her International Baccalaureate Diploma and declined offers from several law schools to pursue a musical career. Her story garnered extensive media coverage, including feature articles by SingTao Daily, South China Morning Post and Young Post SCMP, as well as a documentary feature on the Pearl Report by TVB. She is also featured in the Hong Kong launch of the non-profit initiative “Those Who Inspire”.

Peggy is generously supported by the Leverhulme Conducting Scholarship, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund, the Ian Evan Lombes Scholarship, the Noel Croucher Scholarship and the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund.

Peggy Wu

Michael Riley

Michael is a conductor and music director from London. He studied orchestral conducting with Martyn Brabbins at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and piano at Trinity College of Music in London. Michael is proud to have served as Music Director for the City of Carlisle Orchestra.

Michael enjoys a varied career as a music director, working predominantly in musical theatre. He has conducted musicals in London’s West End, on national tours and internationally. Shows include Jesus Christ Superstar, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock, Legally Blonde, The Bodyguard, The Sound of Music, Grease, Nativity! The Musical, The Rocky Horror Show, My Neighbour Totoro, Hairspray and The Last Five Years among others.

He has conducted the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBCSSO, Hungarian National Symphony Orchestra Szeged, Leipziger Symphonie Orchester, Scottish Opera, HM Royal Marines and the Prague Philharmonia among others, and has received additional coaching from distinguished conductors such as Ryan Wigglesworth, Jonathon Heyward and Stuart Stratford.

Michael Riley

Vincent Wiguna

As a postgraduate conductor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), Vincent studied under Martyn Brabbins. As part of the course at the RCS, he worked with leading orchestras in Scotland such as the BBC SSO, RSNO, Scottish Opera and Red Note Ensemble. In addition to symphonic music, Vincent is also proficient in choral conducting and has expanded his studies of ballet conducting with Richard Honner.

Originally from Indonesia, he was the assistant conductor of the Jakarta City Philharmonic and Bandung Philharmonic. He has been invited to lead the Jakarta Sinfonietta, Camerata Indonesia, Jakarta Conservatory Chamber Orchestra and collaborated with well-known soloists in the country. As a pianist, he has played with numerous singers, chambers, choirs in Indonesia and Glasgow. In contemporary music, he plays piano with the Jakarta Modern Ensemble, Ensemble Kontemporer and is mentored by Ueli Wiget from Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt) with support from the Goethe Institute.

Photo credit: Olivia da Costa

Vincent Wiguna

Magnus Plejdrup

Magnus Plejdrup (b. 1995), is a Danish conductor and composer. He studied composition at The Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus, and undertook his postgraduate studies in orchestral conducting at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the tuition of Martyn Brabbins. Guest teachers including John Wilson, Ryan Wigglesworth, Thomas Søndergaard and Ryan Bancroft. Magnus has been engaged by Orkester Midtvest (DK), Aarhus Sommeropera (DK) and Ensemble Pluma (DK), amongst others. The latter is a professional chamber orchestra based in Aarhus, founded by Plejdrup in 2018. There are also future engagements notably with the Red Note Ensemble (UK).

As part of his studies at the RCS, he has conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Scottish Opera. Plejdrup has also attended masterclasses with the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra and maestro Alim Shakh. As a composer, Magnus won the audience prize at the 75-year anniversary composition competition of The Danish Sinfonietta (Randers Kammerorkester). His pieces have been performed by Orkester Midtvest, Esbjerg Ensemble, RAMA Symphony Orchestra and Ensemble Pluma, to name but a few.

Magnus Plejdrup

Leon Reimer

Having been brought up as a singer, Leon also enjoys frequent choral conducting opportunities, most notably as the Associate Conductor of the University of Glasgow Chapel Choir and Glasgow Chamber Choir. In 2017, Leon also made his debut with the University of Glasgow Choral Society. Leon has lead groups of singers at several major festivals, including the Edinburgh International Festival, the Celtic Connections Festival as well as Glasgow’s West End Festival.

Eager to embrace the challenges and rewards of working with groups of all backgrounds and experiences, Leon has been heavily involved in the community scene across Scotland and the UK. Notable engagements include the City of Carlisle Orchestra, the Saint James Orchestra, the Perth Community Orchestra, the Lomond and Clyde Community Orchestra, the Lanark and Carluke Choral Union and Edinburgh Grand Opera. The orchestra has gone from strength to strength under his guidance and he now leaves us after 7 years to take up a new role in Copenhagen.

Leon Reimer

Ryan Bancroft

Ryan Bancroft is a conductor and trumpeter hailing from Los Angeles. Ryan was educated in Los Angeles where he studied under Edward Carroll and Thomas Stevens, and studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under Garry Walker and Alasdair Mitchell.

Having completed postgraduate studies in trumpet at the prestigious California Institute of the Arts, he was active as a conductor and freelance trumpeter. Ryan relocated to Glasgow, Scotland in September of 2013. Ryan has conducted orchestras such as the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, RedNote, and has worked with great conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Placido Domingo, Donald Runnicles, Ilan Volkov, and James MacMillan. Ryan also has a keen interest in contemporary music; a field in which he has commissioned over 100 works for himself or ensembles. During his time with the RCS Ryan was music director of the City of Carlisle Orchestra, St. James Orchestra (Paisley), the Clyde Ensemble, and the Scottish Chamber Singers, a choir that focuses on presenting premieres and pieces by female composers. Along with music, Ryan has a background in dance where he focused on ballet and contemporary choreography.

In November 2018, Bancroft first guest-conducted the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW), as an emergency substitute for Xian Zhang. He returned as guest conductor to the BBC NOW in May 2019. In September 2019, the BBC NOW announced the appointment of Bancroft as its next principal conductor, effective with the 2020–2021 season, with an initial contract of 3 years.This appointment marks his first orchestral post, which he formally assumed in September 2020. Bancroft is the first American conductor to be named principal conductor of the BBC NOW.

Ryan Bancroft

Hannah Quinn

Hannah graduated with Distinction from the Alexander Gibson Opera School, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, with an MMus in Repetiteurship. She has worked on productions of La Rondine (Puccini), Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor (Nicolai), Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria (Monteverdi), L’Incoronizaione di Poppea (Monteverd) and is the recipient of the Leonard Hancock Memorial Trust Award and the James H Geddes Repetiteur Bursary.

Hannah has studied orchestral conducting with George Hurst, Denise Ham and Christopher Seaman and was the Music Director for the City of Carlisle Orchestra during their 2013-14 season. In September 2014, Hannah was due to take up a trainee repetiteur position at the National Opera Studio.

Hannah Quinn

Tom Howe

Tom was born in Carlisle and as a youth played the French Horn in various orchestras including the Carlisle Youth Orchestra and Eden Concert Orchestra.

After 4 years at the Royal College of Music in London studying horn, organ and piano he played horn in the Academy of the BBC (formerly the BBC Training Orchestra) in Bristol. This was followed by freelance playing/teaching and subsequent peripatetic brass teaching posts in North Tyneside and Cumbria.

He has worked extensively as a semi-professional horn player in the North East and Cumbria and also conducted many youth music groups including the Carlisle Youth Orchestra and Carlisle Youth Concert Band. He is also a church organist and accompanist.

Hannah Quinn

John Hammond

John Hammond is originally from Bedfordshire. Both his parents were musicians, encouraging an interest in music from the age of seven. 1981 to 1983 saw him working as Musical Director for Penrith Savoyards

followed by work as Musical Director for City of Carlisle Orchestra. Formally known as the Eden Concert Orchestra, John was one of the original members responsible for rebuilding the orchestra to the thriving outfit we see today. Having trained at Trinity College of Music London, where he completed a music degree, he currently works as a private music teacher, playing the piano, harpsichord and organ. Amongst his favourite works are Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphony, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, Poulenc’s Organ Concerto, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

John Hammond