Conducting Biography

Conductor William Rowson is proving to be one Canada’s most authentic and exciting emerging talents. Currently in his third season as the assistant conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, he has led the orchestra in over 100 performances ranging from the ever popular Tea and Trumpets series to the VSO’s Annex new music series. He has conducted pops performances with artists Jann Arden, Chris Botti, Chris Hadfield and the Hot Sardines. Through his work with the VSO’s education department he has performed for over 70,000 elementary school students. In addition to his work with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Rowson is the Principal Conductor of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra, which has begun to sell out of tickets to its performances.

Rowson began conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music where he conducted the Institute’s symphony orchestra. Since then, he has been a frequent guest of many of Canada’s leading ensembles, including the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, Toronto’s Talisker Players, the Glenn Gould Professional School, The National Academy Orchestra of Canada, the McGill Chamber Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra, the Saskatoon Symphony, Orchestra Toronto, the Toronto Philharmonic, and the Scarborough Philharmonic. A strong advocate for music by Canadian composers, he has conducted the world premieres of over 60 new works.

His operatic experience includes conducting the Canadian premieres of Handel’s Amadigi de Guala and Hasse’s Antonio e Cleopatra on period instruments with London Early Opera and the University of Western Ontario’s Early Music Studio. Through his performances with the Talisker Players, Rowson has collaborated with prominent vocal artists Meredith Hall, Rufus Müller, Lawrence Wiliford and Krisztina Szabó.

An active composer as well as conductor, Rowson recently had his Fanfare for Canada’s 150th premiered by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra conducted by Thomas Dausgaard. In August 2018, his Short Variations on Waves was given its premiere by the Ensemble Made in Canada at the Festival of the Sound, and will be performed in every province in Canada this season. Rowson recently composed the music for the upcoming feature length film, Brotherhood.