Conducting the classics

Conductor Stephen Ellery and the London Gala Orchestra are performing a series of classical concerts in Leytonstone

 Stephen Ellery

Conductor Stephen Ellery grew up in Leytonstone and has performed all over the world

I grew up in Leytonstone and studied composition and conducting in Poland when it was just freeing itself from the Iron Curtain between 1988 and 1991.

I next went to St Petersburg (then Leningrad) and studied conducting under the famous teacher Ilya Musin, from 1991 to 1995. This was followed by two years working with orchestras and opera companies in Vladivotsok and Yalutsk, one of the coldest places on earth.

Today I work with major orchestras in Japan, Poland, Mexico, Peru, Germany, Austria – and now Leytonstone.

It was in 2011 that I began to work with Leytonstone-based musician Wilfred Goddard, director of the London Gala Orchestra. After collaborating on a series of concerts at St Martin in the Fields, I was engaged by the orchestra to conduct summer open air prom concerts in Bedford, Castle Howard, and Gisborough Priory, as well as New Year Viennese concerts in Bath, Darlington and Salisbury. Later this year, on 11th November, they will perform together to an already sold-out audience at the Royal Albert Hall in a concert commemorating 100 years of Polish independence.

The London Gala Orchestra and myself began performing at St John’s Church during the Leytonstone Festival in 2015 and over the past three years we have seen an enthusiastic growth in the local audience, as well as visitors coming from places like Germany and Milan.

After a well-attended ‘classics for pleasure’ concert in January and the tremendous support of local residents, Reverend David Britton suggested that the London Gala Orchestra could become the resident orchestra of the church. We immediately set out to plan the first series of concerts for 2018, beginning on Saturday 7th July, when we’ll perform Mozart’s Bastien and Bach’s Coffee Cantata with an international cast of artists – staged by award-winning Dutch director Maarten van der Duin.

I look forward to seeing you there!

London Gala Orchestra perform at St John’s Church on Saturday 7th July, 4th August, 15th September, 8th December, and 26th January. For more information and to book tickets: