A former artistic director and present Conductor Laureate of the Sinfonietta, Olly has been with the ensemble for more than three quarters of its life, ever since Simon Rattle conducted his unstoppable Coursing in 1979. Though only 26 at the time, he was already a seasoned composer, having had a jump start at the age of 15 when the London Symphony Orchestra played his First Symphony. By 18 he was a mature artist, having completed his training in London with John Lambert and gone to Tanglewood for the first time to study with Gunther Schuller. He wrote his Second Symphony (1970-71) for Yehudi Menuhin and his Third (1973-9) for the Proms, as well as various smaller pieces at this time. During the next decade he was largely occupied with a pair of operas after children’s books by Maurice Sendak: Where the Wild Things Are and Higglety Pigglety Pop!, which the Sinfonietta played under his direction at Glyndebourne. Recent works include a sparkling violin concerto and Requiem, a song cycle he wrote in memory of his former wife Sue. A brilliant conductor, he has recorded much of his own music with the Sinfonietta, as well as works by Igor Stravinsky, Elliott Carter, Toru Takemitsu and others.