Mark Heron

Tutor in Conducting


  • teaching Junior Fellows and Masters conducting students
  • conducting full range of RNCM orchestras & ensembles
  • responsible for conducting electives for undergraduate & postrgaduate students who are not principal study conductors
  • responsible for the RNCM’s programme of external conducting courses


Mark Heron is a Scottish conductor known for dynamic and well-rehearsed performances across an unusually wide range of repertoire, his expertise as an orchestral trainer, and as a teacher whose students achieve phenomenal success at international level.

As guest conductor he has appeared with the BBC Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Psappha, Meininger Hofkapelle, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia, Pori Sinfonietta, St Petersburg Festival Orchestra and many more. He is the music director of the Nottingham Philharmonic, conductor laureate of the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra, and was Director of Orchestras at the University of Manchester for 10 years. As a member of the conducting staff at the Royal Northern College of Music, Mark works regularly with all of the College’s orchestras, ensembles, and opera productions.

Dedicated to working with young musicians, in addition to his roles at the RNCM and Manchester University, Mark has conducted ensembles from the Royal Academy of Music, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Tilburg & Maastricht Conservatories, the National Youth Wind Orchestras of Great Britain,  Israel, and Wales, the Slovenian National Youth Orchestra, and many more.

Mark has a keen interest in contemporary music and has given world premieres of many important works. He has collaborated with leading composers such as Kalevi Aho, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Unsuk Chin, Detlev Glanert, Heiner Goebbels, Anders Hillborg, Giya Kancheli, Magnus Lindberg, Sir James McMillan, Colin Matthews, Thea Musgrave, Bernard Rands, Christopher Rouse, Howard Skempton, and Mark Anthony Turnage. He gave the European premiere of Daron Hagen’s opera, Bandanna, and in 2018 will give the world premiere of Adam Gorb’s new opera The Path to Heaven. Mark has recorded over 20 CDs with Manchester Camerata and the RNCM Wind Orchestra on labels such as Chandos, Naxos, NMC, ASC and Polyphonic.

Mark studied at the RSAMD (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and the RNCM. Following a successful chamber music career and freelance work with many of the UK’s professional symphony orchestras, he undertook conducting studies at the RNCM and in master classes with Neeme & Paavo Järvi, Jorma Panula, and Sir Mark Elder. In 2006 he worked with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra on their mentoring programme for young conductors.

Mark has a burgeoning reputation as a conducting teacher and students of his have achieved notable success at the highest level. As well as his work across all of the RNCM’s renowned conducting programmes, he developed an elite undergraduate conducting programme at the University of Manchester, is a visiting professor to the Royal Air Force, and appears often as a guest at conducting courses and master classes all over the world.

Personal Website

Current and Future Research


  • MPhil research into methods of training conductors in different parts of the world
  • Guest Editor of Winds Magazine, Autumn 2012
  • Various articles for publications & journals 



  • Robert Russell Bennett The Wind Music of Robert Russell Bennett, RNCM Wind Orchestra, Chandos, release date autumn 2016
  • Adam Gorb Dancing in the Ghetto, Manchester Camerata & RNCM Wind Ensemble, Prima Facie Records, March 2016
  • Paul Goodey Hohler Fells – Concerto for Flutes. Karin de Fleyt and RNCM Wind Orchestra, Metier, March 2016
  • Alwyn Film Music of William Alwyn, RNCM Wind Orchestra, Naxos, February 2012
  • Ball, Fitkin, Scott, Ter Veldhuis Gameshow – Saxophone Concertos CD with RNCM Wind Orchestra, RNCM Wind Orchestra, Clark Rundell/Mark Heron, Rob Buckland & guest John Harle Saxophone & Wind Orchestra, Sospiro Records, Nov 2011
  • Adam Gorb Towards Nirvana, RNCM Wind Orchestra, NMC, May 2010
  • Stephen McNeff Image in Stone, RNCM Wind Orchestra, Campion Cameo, Jan 2009
  • Repertoire Recordings for Polyphonic, 11 CDs with RNCM Wind Orchestra fetauring composers such as Martin Ellerby, Nigel Clarke, Philip Sparke, Kit Turnbull, Gary Carpenter, Adam Gorb, Rob Wiffin, Duncan Stubbs etc

Significant Premieres & Contemporary Music performances

  • Daron Hagen – Bandanna. European premiere of this 2 Act opera, May 2006
  • RNCM Composer Festivals including Harrison Birtwistle, James MacMillan, Magnus Lindberg, Unsuk Chin, Detlev Glanert, Steve Mackey, Mark Antony Turnage, Christopher Rouse, Heiner Goebbels, Giya Kancheli, Kalevi Aho, Robert Saxton, Howard Skempton, Colin Matthews
  • Broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 Hear & Now with Psappha

College and External Research Roles

  • Tutor in Conducting and Staff Conductor, RNCM
  • Director of Orchestras and tutor in conducting, University of Manchester
  • Music Director, Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Music Director, Liverpool Mozart Orchestra
  • Director of Wind Conducting Faculty, Sherborne Summer School of Music
  • Visiting Professor of Conducting, Royal Air Force Music Service

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Professional Skills conducting course
  • Orchestras & Ensembles 

Postgraduate Teaching

  • Junior Fellow and Masters principal study teacher
  • Minor Option conducting course
  • Orchestras & Ensembles

Professional Activity

Recent performances with professional orchestras & ensembles such as:

  • BBC Philharmonic
  • Manchester Camerata
  • Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
  • Psappha
  • Meininger Hofkapelle
  • Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Recent Masterclasses include:

  • University Institute Stavanger
  • Royal Air Force Music Services
  • Royal Marines Band Service
  • Sherborne Summer School of Music
  • Melbourne Conservatorium
  • Australian Band & Orchestra Directors Association
  • Pirkanmaan Piina Masterclasses (Finland)
  • Aveiro University (Portual)

Recent recordings

  • Manchester Camerata (ASC)
  • RNCM Wind Orchestra (Chandos, ASC, Polyphonic)