Martin Leigh has conducted more than 50 symphonies, including major works by Mahler and Bruckner and Beethoven's ninth; major symphonic works by Bartok, Lutoslawski, Stravinsky, and Webern; and operas by Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Bizet, Handel, and Verdi.
As part of his recent association with symphonic ensembles of the University of Birmingham, he has conducted such works as Mahler's Symphony no.5, and the second suite from Daphnis et Chloé. Their performance of Le sacre du printemps was described by the Birmingham Post as 'exhilarating and rewarding' and 'something of a triumph'.
His interest in unusual and neglected repertoire has resulted in performances of Korngold's violin concerto; the music of Paul von Klenau and Franz Schmidt; as well as less-familiar works by Sibelius, Nielsen, Smetana, and Rachmaninov.
Martin Leigh has a growing reputation for nurturing and developing ensembles. Under his guidance the Halesowen Orchestra's performances have been praised for 'overwhelming evidence of thorough and purposeful preparation', and 'marked professionalism'.
He is music director of the Birmingham Chamber Orchestra (of which he is co-founder), the Solihull Symphony Orchestra, and the Halesowen Orchestra. As a guest he has conducted the Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra and the Oxford Sinfonia, and has directed from the keyboard concertos by Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. He was music director of the Wyre Forest Symphony Orchestra from 2003-9.
The Birmingham Chamber Orchestra is distinguished by its specialism in opera. In conjunction with the National Lottery and the Arts Council, this ensemble engages young professional soloists with the aim of bringing full-scale concert performances of opera to areas and venues not served by professional companies. BCO was chosen to perform on BBC Radio 3 as part of the 'Play to the Nation' Festival. Martin is also music director of Opera Festa and an active participant in the company's educational programme.
As assistant conductor to Sir Charles Mackerras, he has participated in concerts in the Edinburgh International Festival, and recordings for Telarc, Erato, and EMI. He has received advice and tuition from Marin Alsop, Sir Roger Norrington, Neil Thomson, and Libor Pesek, was a Fellow of the Conductors' Institute at Bard in the Summer of 2006, and tutor in conducting at the University of Birmingham.
In July 2005, he was invited to participate in the final stages of the Eighth Leeds Conductors' Competition.
He studied at the Universities of Cambridge and Nottingham, and holds a doctorate in music.
He has been appointed Director of Music at King's, Ely, and takes up the position in September 2012.
Martin lives in Birmingham with his wife, Louise.