Guest Conductors

During our 2019-20 season, we are delighted to be joined by two guest conductors, who will be conducting parts of our concerts in November 2019 and February 2020.


John Lyon

Conducting Dvorak’s 8th Symphony
16th November 2019, Headingley
23rd November 2019, Knaresborough

John is a conductor, musical director and passionate music educator based between Sheffield and Leeds. Working as a Music Leader for Sheffield city council’s music education service, John (somehow) lives a double life as an active freelance conductor, arranger/composer, violinist and choral singer.

The West Yorkshire area is extremely close to John’s heart, having completed his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in musicology at the University of Leeds, where he conducted the university’s chamber and symphony orchestras as well as putting on an award-winning production of The Marriage of Figaro for the university opera society. Currently residing as the musical director of Leeds Youth Opera and the chamber orchestra he set up, Leeds Camerata, John is thrilled to have been invited to work with Leeds Symphony Orchestra, especially to conduct such a thrilling work as Dvorak’s 8th Symphony.


Christopher Pelly

Conducting the Karelia Suite (Sibelius), A Somerset Rhapsody (Holst ) and A Shropshire Lad (Butterworth)
8th February 2020, Headingley
15th February 2020, Knaresborough

Christopher studied trumpet and voice at the University of Leeds and has studied conducting with George Hurst and Martin Pickard among many others. He is the artistic director of the Leeds Haydn Players, the musical director of Otley Chamber Orchestra and has also appeared as a guest conductor with West Yorkshire and Leeds Symphony Orchestras as well as conducting the orchestra and choir of the School of Music at the University of Leeds.

With Northern Opera Group Christopher has conducted productions of Alfred (Thomas Arne), Cendrillon (Pauline Viardot) and Much Ado About Nothing (Stanford). Christopher has also conducted productions of Made in Dagenham and Hello Dolly at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford. Christopher plays the trumpet, tuba, percussion and keyboards in orchestras and musicals.

He is an experienced pianist, having accompanied recitals, rehearsals and masterclasses at the University of Leeds and elsewhere, including performances of Poulenc’s opera La Voix Humaine with Opera North soprano Lorna James and director Emma Black. Christopher has been the Concert Series Administrator at the University of Leeds since 2015.