Toby Purser is Artistic Director and Founder of the Orion Orchestra & Principal Guest Conductor: London International Orchestra & the Kammerphilhamonie Graz. He studied piano for a year in Vienna, then read music at Oxford: founding the Oxford Philomusica and conducting the Oxford Sinfonietta. He spent two years at the St. Petersburg State Conservatoire studying conducting with Ilya Musin, and then a further three years at the Royal Academy of Music with Colin Metters.
Toby won second prize at the Leeds Conducting Competition in 2002, and was appointed Assistant Conductor of L'Ensemble Orchestral de Paris for 2007 following his participation in the Vendome Academy with Janos Furst and John Nelson.
Orchestral performances include the English Chamber Orchestra, L’Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Sinfonia Viva Orchestra of Opera North, St. Petersburg Festival Orchestra, Orpheus Sinfonia, Cheltenham Chamber Orchestra, Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra, Oxford University Orchestra, Kotorart Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, Basel Symphony Orchestra & the St. Petersburg Camerata.
In 2005 Toby Purser founded the Orion Orchestra,working with soloists including Dame An Murray, Susan Gritton, Nicola Benedetti & Valeriy Sokolov. Toby Purser initiated a composers' prize, a young conductors' award & A Great Young Soloists series. His has recorded two cd's with the orchestra, to critical acclaim.
Operatic performances include: Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly & Eugene Onegin (Grange Park Opera), Hänsel und Gretel , Il Seraglio (British Youth Opera), Bailey The Black Monk,(Sirius Ensemble), Sciarrino Infinito Nero (Almeida Opera), West Side Story & Carmen the Musical (Pimlico Opera) – with the inmates of Wandsworth Prison and Sugar with the inmates of HMP Send – as well as many opera gala programmes.
His choral work includes: Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem (Westminster Abbey). He is a vocal coach and has worked as répétiteur with Broomhill Opera, Longborough Opera and Almeida Opera.
In 2010 the Aberystwyth International MusicFest invited him to direct its first conductors' class. The class is now established as an annual event. He has been co-director of the Graz Conductors' Summer School 2008-9, and is teaching assistant to George Hurst at the Canford Summer School of Music.