Brian was born in Belfast in 1975, started playing the organ and piano at the tender age of 8 and took up the French Horn at the age of 14 to complement his GCSE in Music. He entered the Welsh College of Music and Drama in 1994 as a Horn player, graduating in 1997 with a BA before taking a two year Advanced Diploma in Conducting. He then went on to be the Sabbatical President of the Students’ Union at the College, before entering permanent employment there as Head of Student Services.
Brian started conducting during his A Levels, performing with local groups from Northampton (by then his home) in festivals locally and nationally, including the Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall and Royal Northern College of Music as well as on two separate tours to Germany. During his student years at the Welsh College he conducted all the main ensembles, including the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and Wind Orchestra as well as acting as Assistant Musical Director for College Opera and Musical Theatre Productions. During this time he also founded Appalachian, a chamber group which performs programmes based around one desk and one-per-part orchestration. He has also conducted the Malcolm Sargent Cancer Care South Wales Choir, Whitchurch Male Voice Choir and the South Wales District Methodist Orchestra. Brian took over as Musical Director of Abergavenny Orchestral Society in January 2001.
This photograph shows Brian conducting a rehearsal of Schubert 9 in 2001. Rehearsals at that time took place in the Wedgewood Room in the Angel Hotel, and the orchestra was considerably smaller than it is at present. Pictured here are: Martin Newby and Cynthia Bailey Wood (violin 2), Harold Rackham (viola), Sue Willcox, Jane Blank, Carrie Stayne and Rohan Lewis (cello).
When Brian left in 2012 Jane Blank composed this poem in honour of his time with the orchestra.