Steuart Bedford

Steuart John Rudolf Bedford, OBE (born 31 July 1939, London) is a British orchestral and opera conductor and pianist. He is the brother of composer David Bedford and of singer Peter Lehmann Bedford and a grandson of Liza Lehmann and Herbert Bedford.

Bedford is particularly associated with the music of Benjamin Britten, and conducted the world premiere of Death in Venice in 1973. Bedford has also conducted Britten's other operas, and made an orchestral suite of music from Death in Venice. Between 1974 and 1998, he was one of the Artistic Directors of the Aldeburgh Festival. In 1989, he became joint artistic director with Oliver Knussen.[1] His other work in contemporary opera has included conducting the 1996 world premiere in Monte Carlo of Lowell Liebermann's The Picture of Dorian Gray,[2] and also the 1999 US premiere.[3]

Bedford has conducted several commercial recordings of Britten operas, including the first recording of Death in Venice (Decca), as well as The Turn of the Screw (Collins Classics, since reissued on Naxos)[4] He has also recorded his Death in Venice suite[5] and the major vocal cycles by Britten.[6]

Bedford made his operatic conducting debut in February 1964 at the Oxford Playhouse with Britten's Albert Herring.[7]

Bedford was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to music.[8]


  1. ^ John Rockwell (28 June 1994). "Britten's Music Festival Revives Under a Three-Headed Regime". New York Times. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
  2. ^ K. Robert Schwarz (31 January 1999). "Bringing Tonality, and Fans, to Contemporary Music". New York Times. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
  3. ^ James R. Oestreich (8 February 1999). "Wilde With Shades of Mahler and Strauss". New York Times. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
  4. ^ Andrew Clements (20 June 2003). "Britten: The Turn of the Screw: Langridge/ Lott/ Pay/ Hulse/ Cannan/ Secunde/ Aldeburgh Festival Ensemble/ Bedford". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
  5. ^ Banfield, Stephen (January 1987). "Record Reviews: British symphonies". The Musical Times. 128 (1727): 30. JSTOR 964640.
  6. ^ Andrew Clements (24 December 2004). "Britten: Serenade; Nocturne; Phaedra, Langridge/ Murray/ Lloyd/ Northern Sinfonia/ English Chamber Orchestra/ Bedford". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
  7. ^ Programme
  8. ^ "No. 61450". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 2015. p. N11.

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