Die Walküre, 2023
London Opera Company

(Peter Selwyn’s) direction was masterly, bringing encouragement, discipline and clarity to his players and guiding them through near four hours of music, yet shaping the work too. Perhaps, most importantly, this was a concert performance where the orchestra did not over-dominate the singers. Too often in Wagner and some early 20th-century operas, if you take the orchestra out of the pit the result is an orchestral sound that overwhelms the voices. Not here, during the long stretches of dialogue in the opera Selwyn encouraged his players to make space for the singers. The big moments were big, indeed, but always in context. A fine achievement indeed.

Planet Hugill website

Under the baton of Peter Selwyn, who has assisted on Bayreuth and Covent Garden productions of The Ring Cycle, this concert performance just seemed to get better and better as it went on… the evening progressed the sense of accomplishment in the sound seemed to develop at the same rate as the performance as a whole grew in energy and flair. The strings were well balanced from the start, and throughout proved equally adept at capturing the lyrical sweep of the score and the intricacies that lie within it. However, the Prelude to Act II sounded more ‘advanced’ than that of Act I, and the opening to Act III even more so again, with the result that the final act stood as something quite special.

Sam Smith OmH website

London Opera Company

This concert performance gripped the audience as much for its thorough preparation as its thoughtful execution. The musicians surpassed expectations. In his shaping and balancing of Wagner’s musical narrative, Peter Selwyn’s baton work was so admirable that thoughts of some players’ amateur status rarely intruded. There were no longueurs in this Tristan, just an inexorable journey towards an intensely emotional climax.

Mark Valencia - Opera Magazine

... under Selwyn’s authoritative and attentive conducting, the playing just got better and better, reaching that blissful Tristan point of musical independence where it’s ambiguous whether the characters or the players are in the ascendant, while Wagner’s thematic web took on a nuanced life of its own, which is quite an accomplishment.

Peter Reed - Classical Source
The orchestra of sixty under the baton of Peter Selwyn produced an extremely engaging sound. The strings were highly lyrical while the winds and brass were forthright, the two elements complementing each other well.

Mark Smith - musicOMH

The third marvel was the span of hours - five, all told - of scintillating orchestral playing by the Orpheus Sinfonia under Peter Selwyn.

Mark Valencia - Opera Magazine

Conductor Peter Selwyn brought a sense of pacing and balance, relishing the enhanced dramatic impetus when events follow each other more swiftly.

Yehuda Shapiro - The Stage

In the pit, Peter Selwyn led a propulsive account of both operas, and was rewarded with some exceptional playing by the young soloists of the Orpheus Sinfonia - each of them seized their moment in the spotlight. This was ensemble playing on an exalted level – each instrumentalist covering themselves in glory.

Give us the Grimeborn Festival over the Bayreuth Festival any day of the week!

Keith McDonnell - Music OMH website

Stupendous achievement: Grimeborn’s Ring adventure comes to a thrilling and satisfying conclusion

Peter Selwyn and the Orpheus Sinfonia brought things to a finely judged conclusion with the long orchestral peroration that concludes the work, a symphonic triumph to crown a striking achievement.

Robert Hugill - Planet Hugill website

Peter Selwyn’s Götterdämmerung was meticulously paced and exquisitely layered.

Jim Pritchard - Seen and Heard International website

Conductor Peter Selwyn brought a sense of pacing and balance, relishing the enhanced dramatic impetus when events follow each other more swiftly.

Roy Westbrook - Bachtrack website
DIE WALKÜRE Grimeborn Festival 2021
Orpheus Sinfonia
Peter Selwyn drew highly accomplished and subtly balanced playing from his select forces.

Barry Millington – The Standard

The agile, lucid conducting of Peter Selwyn and the glowing sonorities of the 19-strong Orpheus Sinfonia ensure the key moments retain their musical power.

Yehuda Shapiro – The Stage
Peter Selwyn conducted sympathetically. The Orpheus Sinfonia, a young orchestra, sometimes struggled to keep up with Wagner’s demands. There was a sense of ensemble playing at the very limits of its capabilities, an heroic effort that only added to the dramatic tension.

Mark Pullinger – Bachtrack
It was a show that could have graced a major international opera house: well-sung, well-staged, and brilliantly conducted.

Michael White – Islington Tribune
We gain with the music. Peter Selwyn conducts the Orpheus Sinfonia with such confidence, all the power and emotion of Wagner’s music works its way into our souls.

Michael White – Islington Tribune
Peter Selwyn gave us a fluent and quite fleet account of the music, the opening to Act One moved at quite an exciting lick. He drew out plenty of orchestral detail so we could enjoy Jonathan Dove's recolouring of the score. The performance from the Orpheus Sinfonia was nothing less than heroic.

Robert Hugill – Planet Hugill
Peter Selwyn and the hard-working Orpheus Orchestra offered well-paced Wagnerian drama and colour, and the accumulative power they built up in the closing pages was terrific.

Peter Reed – Classical Source
'conducted to fully immersive effect by Peter Selwyn’

Yehuda Shapiro - OPERA Magazine
….already far along the Wagnerian road, the conductor, Peter Selwyn, has worked on seven Ring Cycles and assisted at Bayreuth….

Fiona Maddocks - The Observer
Grimeborn’s Das Rheingold was far more rewarding, thanks to Peter Selwyn’s impressive choice of soloists. If it’s true Selwyn is planning Dove’s mini-Walküre next year, I will be there

Hugh Canning – SUNDAY TIMES
….conducted with quiet command by Peter Selwyn

Richard Bratby – THE SPECTATOR
Peter Selwyn keeps the pace moving along, so there is hardly a dull moment

The accomplished Orpheus Sinfonia – sensitively conducted by Peter Selwyn….

Rheingold’s musical highlights had considerable impact.

Jim Pritchard – SEEN AND HEARD
The big moments make the floor shake

Selwyn is a considerable conductor and his attention to orchestral texture helps the score to emerge as the epic it is

Mark Valencia – BACHTRACK
Played with richness by the Orpheus Sinfonia, conducted with care and precision by Peter Selwyn….it’s musically breathtaking, emotionally gripping, and dramatically convincing, and is a better advert for the genius of Wagner to a new audience than I’ve seen for ages

Charlotte Valori – theatreCat website
Music director Peter Selwyn, doubling on piano (and clenching his baton between his teeth
when two hands were needed), drew sensuous playing from the Orpheus Sinfonia.

Fiona Maddocks - The Observer ****

Low-budget, intense and just how Britten wanted it

Nick Kimberley - Evening Standard

... the Orpheus Sinfonia…. deliver Britten's score splendidly under Peter Selwyn's direction.

Mark Valencia - WhatsonStage website

And all credit to Grimeborn for bringing together inventive director Julia Burbach and accomplished conductor Peter Selwyn, who have between them created a small miracle to open the festival….
The Orpheus Sinfonia produce, under Selwyn’s exemplary conducting, an entirely engrossing account of Britten’s score.
I cannot recommend this production highly enough

Owen Davies - Plays to See website.*****

Orpheus Sinfonia do a magnificent job under the direction of Peter Selwyn

Broadway World website

Played beautifully by the 12-strong chamber orchestra under the baton of musical director Peter Selwyn

The Reviews Hub website

The Orpheus Sinfonia, conducted by Peter Selwyn, gives a sensitive reading of Britten’s score with its many tantalising, sinuous melodies

British Theatre Guide website

Peter Selwyn, music director for the Arcola production, shows Britten’s music at its best. The orchestra, squeezed along a balcony above the stage, creates thrilling full-blooded music alongside a cast of impressive singers

Simon Fearn - Litro website

English Touring Opera (October 2012)
'The wit and desperate sadness of it all are beautifully captured by Peter Selwyn's conducting.'

Tim Ashley – The Guardian
'Conductor Peter Selwyn and his ensemble effortlessly bridge the gulf between Baroque grace and Ullmann’s blend of cabaret and Berg-influenced modernism.'

Michael Church – The Indepent
…haunting, atmospheric staging, with the added benefit of the wonderfully accomplished Aurora orchestra under Peter Selwyn, who conducted a thrilling account of the score…

Musical Criticism website
Throughout, conductor Peter Selwyn directed his eclectic band of players (reflecting the limited resources Ullman had at his disposal at Terezin) with consummate skill.

MusicOMH website
'Incisively conducted by Peter Selwyn.'

Classical Source website
'Conducted by Peter Selwyn, the members of Aurora Orchestra convey a genuine feel for the scores - a key factor in the success of this important production.'

The Stage
'The young Aurora Orchestra, conducted by Peter Selwyn, played fluently and with great commitment.'

Opera Britannia website
'Conducting by Peter Selwyn maintained the tension in this musically intriguing and extremely moving work.'

Mark Ronan Blog
'Conductor Peter Selwyn and the Aurora Orchestra, were to the point throughout the evening, ensuring that the diverse variety of styles cohered into a satisfactory whole. The Ullmann was beautifully played…..'

Hugill Blog

'the orchestra, expertly directed by Peter Selwyn, was on excellent form'

Seen and Heard International Website

Internationales Kammermusikfestival Nürnberg (September 2011)
Das massiv mit Blech und Schlagzeug zupackende Kammerorchester des Festivals sorgt für rhythmisch vibrierende wie feinnervig farbliche Zeichnung. Brittens Maxime, „vollkommene Klarheit des Ausdrucks“ zu erreichen, schien dem Produktionsteam und dem souverän lotsenden Peter Selwyn am Pult ein vordringliches Anliegen zu sein.

Peter Selwyn steered the Festival Chamber Orchestra magisterially, evidently mindful of Britten’s maxim ‘to achieve perfect clarity of expression’.

Nürnberger Zeitung

Opera Holland Park (July 2011)
'Peter Selwyn really knows how to let this music bloom and breathe'

Neil Fisher – The Times (4*)
'… of watercolour delicacy which conductor Peter Selwyn beautifully realizes'

Michael Church – Independent (4*)
'In the pit, Peter Selwyn presides over some lovely playing from the City of London Sinfonia.'

Anna Picard – Independent on Sunday
'Peter Selwyn's unhurried conducting allows the piece to make its case on its own terms'

Martin Kettle – The Guardian
'Peter Selwyn’s orchestra is on superb form, producing a subtle and blended sonority'

The Stage
'Conductor Peter Selwyn provided an ideal sense of ebb and flow in the pit'

Metro Newspaper
'Issues with the OHP pit (long and thin) have been a repeated refrain of mine, and here with woodwind placed centrally things finally gelled, with Peter Selwyn’s orchestra producing the most blended sound I’ve heard in this space. A strong cast of singers allowed the players the freedom to really release, and the result was as mature and balanced as a tent acoustic can ever hope to produce.

Selwyn’s account of Puccini’s score ….. could romance the most cynical of souls'

ArtsDesk website
'Conductor Peter Selwyn and the City of London Sinfonia certainly make a passionate case for it in their fine account of the score.'
'Puccini’s web of seductive melody and dance was lovingly conducted by Peter Selwyn'

Classical Source website
'The orchestra under Peter Selwyn brings out the opulence of the score'

Daily Express
'excellent playing by the orchestra under Peter Selwyn - the best I have heard the orchestra in recent memory

the orchestra (was) on exemplary form. Mr. Selwyn evoked the full translucence of the score, soft restraint giving way to the playful caprice with which so much of the score is imbued.'

Opera Britannia website
'In the pit, Peter Selwyn and the City of London Sinfonia succeeded in capturing the delicate colours of the score — Viennese melodic sentiment couched in a rich, Italianate and recognisably Puccinian idiom. …. it was a pleasure to listen to, always well-balanced.'

Ruth Elleson – Opera Today website
'excellent conducting from Peter Selwyn'

MusicOMH – website
Welsh National Opera
'….the driving pace set by conductor Peter Selwyn, and the crisp playing of the fine orchestra…..'

MusicOMH – website
Nuremberg International Chamber Music Festival (September 2009)
'Peter Selwyn conducted a keenly felt performance with lucid, understated authority'

Neil Fisher – The Times (4 *)
'The slow movement, in particular, was a lesson in how to hold an audience spellbound as the music slowly unfolded in the quietest of voices until the emotional outburst towards the end cried out to us in full throated anguish. It was fascinating to hear this group – really an ensemble of soloists – relishing the challenges of making a full orchestral score work in miniature under the quite inspired guidance of Peter Selwyn'

Musical Pointers Website
'Last Thursday, at the Wigmore Hall, players from the Nuremberg International Chamber Music Festival, conducted by Peter Selwyn, gave a splendid performance, full of the wonder and power necessary to bring this work to life'

Seen and Heard Website
Opera Holland Park (June 2009)
…well sung and played under Peter Selwyn’s baton with relish of the score’s graceful and rumbustious dancing quality.

Edward Seckerson – The Independent
It was saved though, by Peter Selwyn’s reduced orchestra, which really shines in the interludes. The children’s goodnight hymn was … beautifully handled

London Evening Standard
Peter Selwyn…presented a lyrical, detailed and almost Goodall-type interpretation. I have never heard Hänsel and Gretel’s prayer so softly and expansively sung as on this occasion; it was heartbreakingly beautiful. Praise is due to the singers but the ultimate credit belongs to the conductor

Musical Criticism Website
Happily, the City of London Sinfonia, under the baton of Peter Selwyn, was as strong as ever. Smooth and flowing in the Overture, maintaining a gripping tempo when it was needed, and also indulging effectively in the more languid passages, it contributed to the fact that in this production the playing, the singing and the acting were all generally good.

Music OMH Website
Peter Selwyn clearly loves this score: he conducts with exemplary tempi and phrasing, and his concern for good balance ensures that none of the music’s many surges overwhelm the singers, despite the absence of a proper pit to tame Humperdinck’s dynamic extremes.
Under Peter Selwyn, the City of London Sinfonia deliver a cosy reading of the score, with some lovely details….

Anna Picard, Independent on Sunday
Opera North (2008)
On the rostrum Peter Selwyn supported his singers in this bel canto styled work appropriately , allowing time for phrasing while keeping the drama moving.

Seen and Heard Website
English Touring Opera – Buxton Opera House (May 2006)
'Peter Selwyn fluently conducts Jancek´s wonderfully descriptive score….'

Manchester Evening News May 2006
Staatstheater Nürnberg (May 2003)
'Vor allem in den Sturmmusiken war die Leitung von PETER SELWYN von großer Dramatik und imposanter Steigerung geprägt. Aber auch lyrische, weiche und empfindsame Klangfarben kamen nicht zu kurz. Die gutdisponierten Nürnberger Philharmoniker waren bei ihm zuverlässige Partner.'

Orpheus Oper Zeitschrift
3. Internationales Kammermusikfestival Nürnberg (Sept 2004)
'Auch der musikalische Leiter PETER SELWYN erzielte mit seinen 13 Instrumentalisten eine große Ausdrucksvielfalt, die von angstvollem Flirren hoher Bläser und dumpfem Pauken- bzw. Kontrabass-Grollen bis zu weit ausgespannten impressionistischen Klangflächen reichte. Die Begleitung der Sänger war - auch während Wanderungen durch den Kirchenraum - trotz der heiklen Akkustik stets sehr gut koordiniert und dynamisch ausbalanciert.'

Nürnberger Nachrichten
'PETER SELWYN, für die musikalische Leitung verantwortlich, setzte auf brodelnde Dynamik und expressive Tempi, um Brittens "merkwürdige Geschichte" fesselnd nachzuerzählen. Mit spontanem Sympathiebeifall und kräftigen Bravos honorierte das Publikum seine Interpretation.'

Nürnberger Abendzeitung
'Die musikalische Ausstrahlung...verdankte man dem engagierten Dirigenten PETER SELWYN. Er setzte mit seinen Ensemble von 13 Solisten die Akzente der musikdramaturgisch raffiniert gebauten Turn of the Screw in Brittens Partitur um. Die kristallener Klarheit vermittelte Musik.....'

Der neue Tag
'PETER SELWYN als Dirigent entlockte der Partitur ihre sinnlichsten, klangschönsten Seiten'

Nürnberger Zeitung
2. Internationales Kammermusikfestival Nürnberg (Sept 2003)
'Die zwölf Musiker, geführt von PETER SELWYN am Pult und Klavier, setzten die oft lautmalerische Partitur makellos und mit viel Farbe um.'

Nürnberger Zeitung
Staatstheater Nürnberg (June 2003)
'Die Ouvertüre….die PETER SELWYN in Samthandschuhen einleitet und später mit rückartig auftrumpfendem Temperament zur Attacke treibt….'

Nürnberger Abendzeitung
'Im Orchestergraben gelang Peter Selwyn vor allem im Kontrast der samtenen Streicherpiani und der betont schwerfälligen Fallstaffpassagen ein lebendiger Beitrag zum Bühnengeschehen.'
Staatstheater Nürnberg (May 2003)
'Eine gute Leistung erbrachte PETER SELWYN an der Spitze der Nürnberger Philharmoniker. Er dirigierte Mozarts Musik spritzig – flüssig und setzte gute Akzente. Das gut disponierte Orchester wußte er zu routiniertem und intensivem Spiel zu animieren. Den Sängern war er ein umsichtiger Begleiter.'

Orpheus Oper Zeitschrift
Staatstheater Nürnberg (May 2000)
'Der junge Dirigent PETER SELWYN und das motivierte Orchester haben hörbar Harnoncourt in ihren Erfahrungsschatz aufgenommen. Zumerken ist das an der geschärften Spielweise, härteren Phrasierungen, Temporüchungen. Der Eindruck war jedenfalls sehr gut.'

Der neue Merker