George Kennaway is a cellist, conductor, teacher, and musicologist.
Born in Edinburgh, he studied at the universities of Newcastle and Oxford, the Salzburg Mozarteum, the Guildhall School of Music, and the University of Leeds. He was a member of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, moving in 1980 to become principal cello no. 2 in the Orchestra of Opera North until 2008. He currently performs as a soloist and chamber music player, on modern and historical cello. He studied conducting with Otmar Suitner and George Hurst, and has conducted orchestras in the UK, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Italy, and Lithuania. While conductor of the Airedale Symphony Orchestra he won a Performing Right Society Award for innovative programming.
George has conducted the Russian première of Delius’s Paris, and the Central Asian premières of works by Walton and Nicholas Maw, and he is one of few foreign conductors to be invited to conduct contemporary Lithuanian music in Lithuania. He now conducts both the Harrogate Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sheffield Chamber Orchestra.
George holds a PhD in 19th-century cello performance practice, and has published articles on topics related to editions and historical performance practice; his book Playing The Cello 1780-1930 is to be published in 2014. George has coached at the Royal Northern College of Music, has given master-classes in Lithuania and Russia, and has taught conducting at Huddersfield University. He holds visiting research fellowships at the universities of Leeds and Huddersfield and is tutor in opera studies for Rose Bruford College (London).