Robert Ames is at the forefront of a new generation of musicians questioning the conventions and rituals surrounding classical music. He is Co-Artistic Director and Conductor of the London Contemporary Orchestra and is also well known as an innovative programme curator. Robert has led the LCO in sell out concerts at The Printworks and Oval Space in East London, the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Centre, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and BBC Proms at the Tate Modern and Royal Albert Hall.
Recent and upcoming conducting engagements include the BBC Concert Orchestra, L’Orchestre National De Lyon, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow New Music Ensemble, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Aarhaus Symphony Orchestra, Kazakhstan State Symphony, Belarusian State Symphony, Symphony Orchestra of India, Wordless Symphony Orchestra, City of London Sinfonietta and The Manchester Camerata.
Robert has worked closely with many leading figures in new music, including Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Bryce Dessner, Mica Levi, Nico Mulhy, Richard Reed Parry, Terry Riley, Anna Meredith and Steve Reich. He is also passionate about championing music from the leading composers of his own generation, premiering works by Shiva Feshareki, Claire M Singer, Emilie Levenaise Farroush, Catherine Lamb and Edmund Finnis amongst others. He has also collaborated with a variety of artists in other fields including fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, architect-designer Ron Arad and Sculptor Conrad Shawcross. Recent forays and collaborations have also taken him into the world of pop working with artists such Actress, DJ Shadow, Jonny Greenwood, Thom Yorke, Jamie XX and Frank Ocean.
His work has encompassed a number of film projects, as conductor, orchestrator and producer. These include the soundtracks for Naji Abu Nowar’s Theeb (Oscar nomination 2014), John Maclean’s Slow West (Sundance Film festival 2015), Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant (2017) Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread (Oscar nomination 2018) and Alma Har’el’s Honeyboy (Sundance Film Festival 2019)
In 2018 he conducted live performances of the Phantom Thread soundtrack at screenings of the film in Rotterdam as part of the Rotterdam Film Festival and gave the film’s European premiere at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Upcoming projects include Robert’s third appearance at the BBC Proms in three years, a performance of Philip Glass’s Bowie Symphony Trilogy at the Royal Festival Hall, a world tour of Jónsi and Alex Somers Cult ambient album ‘Riceboy Sleeps’ a world premier new orchestration of William Basinski’s iconic Disintegration Loops and a performance of a new collaboration with electronic artist Actress at the Holland festival.
“New music presented with style rather than po-faced seriousness…performed with such devoted care.” – The Telegraph