Craig Lawton is a lively and enthusiastic conductor working in the South of England. He currently holds positions with the Northwood String Orchestra, Winchester Chamber Orchestra, Conchord Singers, Charity Symphony Orchestra and Christ Church Freemantle.
Having learnt the piano since at school, during sixth-form college he attempted to make a transition to the organ wishing to see what all the fuss was about over this so called ‘king of instruments’. On leaving college Craig found himself ‘deputising’ at a local Southampton Church and receiving lessons from the current organist. Due to circumstance beyond his control, and hesitant at first, he found himself suddenly upgraded to Organist and Choirmaster!
Rapidly developing a love of the instrument and choral music, on entry to the University of Southampton he switched to organ, studying with Sarah Baldock at Winchester Cathedral in addition to coaching from Prof. David Owen Norris. Attempting to jettison the Parish Organist life during his final year and focus on conducting, the lure of instrument (and that of the convenient placement of taverns to most Anglican Churches), after graduating he took up the post of Director of Music at Christ Church Freemantle in 2008.
Craig made his professional conducting debut in Europe with the Ostfold Symphony Orchestra in Norway. Continuing to enjoy podium time in France, Berlin, Bulgaria and Italy, his most interesting concert to date was performed deep inside a cave in Cornwall!
In conjunction with a busy conducting schedule, Craig has great enthusiasm for music projects, especially organising collaborative projects between ensembles and musicians that share his passion and ethos. This passion is shared, encouraged and brought to life with friend and colleague Paul Ingram. Between them, the dynamic duo have undertaken two epic musical marathons for charity; Haydathon and Beethovathon; performing all symphonies by the two heavyweight composers and raising well over £6,000 for Comic Releif.
Craig has continued to develop his skills with Jason Lai in London, and most recently, in Berlin with Prof. Colin Metters from the Royal Academy of Music. He initially studied with Dr John Traill and later at the University of Southampton with Robin Browning. Craig was the first and only person to hold the City of Southampton Orchestra’s Assistant Conductor Scheme. He was Assistant Conductor to the University of Southampton Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonietta.
Off the podium, Craig enjoys playing percussion with local orchestras. When not rehearsing or performing, you can often find Craig in the Waterloo Arms enjoying a good pint of real ale with friends. Visit Craig's personal website at www.craiglawton.org.uk