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Dinis Sousa

Principal Conductor


Introducing Dinis Sousa, new Principal Conductor of Royal Northern Sinfonia

Sage Gateshead has appointed the exciting young conductor Dinis Sousa as Principal Conductor of Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Dinis, the very talented Portuguese conductor, will move his base to the North East to help realise Sage Gateshead’s vision to meaningfully respond to its community’s recovery by bringing music’s vital role in improving health and wellbeing, education and learning, and in creating positive shared experience to benefit everyone across the region.

Dinis Sousa, who was introduced to the orchestra through the Classical Futures Europe scheme, has performed twice with the orchestra to date, once to launch Beethoven 2020: The Next Generation in Carlisle and Middlesbrough in January of last year, and more recently at the helm in a concert of Stravinsky, Mendelssohn and music by the young American composer Caroline Shaw, as part of the Sage Live 2020 series last autumn.

Sousa is Founder and Artistic Director of Orquestra XXI, an award-winning orchestra that brings together Portuguese musicians living around the world. He also works closely with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and his ensembles, having been appointed the first-ever Assistant Conductor of the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras in 2018.

Director of Royal Northern Sinfonia, Thorben Dittes said, “Dinis’ special connection with the orchestra on stage was unmistakeable from the very first time the RNS performed with him. We all felt it and the audience commented to me about it afterwards. He clearly is an exceptional talent and we are very excited about the tremendous artistic potential which Dinis as our new Principal Conductor will be bringing to the North East.”

Dinis Sousa, Principal Conductor of Royal Northern Sinfonia said, “From the first moment that I conducted RNS, I immediately felt at home. The excitement of their making-music is palpable and they have a collective energy and commitment that I find inspiring. I’m honoured to become their new Principal Conductor and I’m hugely looking forward to what the future brings. As we begin to shape this new chapter we are thrilled that many new players will be joining the orchestra in the coming months, and we can’t wait to finally being able to share live music with our ever-growing community.”

Introducing Dinis Sousa

A brief introduction to Royal Northern Sinfonia’s new Principal Conductor Dinis Sousa.

Walking and Talking with Dinis

Dinis Sousa explores his new home, in conversation with RNS players and Director.

Playing Shostakovich Piano Quintet

Chamber music performance recorded in Sage Two, March 2021

Full Biography

Dinis Sousa is Founder and Artistic Director of Orquestra XXI, an award-winning orchestra which brings together some of the best young Portuguese musicians from around Europe. Orquestra XXI has already established itself as one of the leading performing groups in Portugal, appearing regularly in its main concert halls. Recent highlights include opening the Gulbenkian Foundation season and appearing at Centro Cultural de Belém’s festival “Dias da Música” for a televised concert with Orquestra XXI and the Gulbenkian Choir, performing Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri.

Dinis has worked closely with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and his ensembles — the English Baroque Soloists, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and the Monteverdi Choir — culminating in his appointment as the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras’ first-ever Assistant Conductor. He has also assisted Gardiner with other orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic and Tonhalle Orchester Zürich. Recent highlights include co-conducting the Monteverdi Choir in Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette at the BBC Proms, and touring with the English Baroque Soloists to Colombia, conducting several concerts of Bach’s orchestral music. Elsewhere, he assisted John Wilson for a production of Cendrillon at Glyndebourne Festival.

As a guest conductor, recent and forthcoming highlights include projects with Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse, Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife, Malta Philharmonic, Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, Madeira Chamber Orchestra and conducting rehearsals with the London Symphony Orchestra. Dinis’ core repertoire is firmly rooted in the Classical to early Romantic eras — with recent performances of Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms, Schumann, Mozart — but also regularly conducts a wide range of music from Bach and Rameau through to 20th century and new music.

Dinis studied conducting with Sian Edwards and Timothy Redmond and piano with Philip Jenkins and Martin Roscoe at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was Conducting Fellow. While at Guildhall, he conducted several different projects, including Bach’s St. John Passion at Milton Court and a staged production of Harrison Birtwistle’s Down by the Greenwood Side at the Silk Street Theatre.

In recognition of his work with Orquestra XXI, Dinis was awarded the title of Knight of the Order of Prince Henry in Portugal.