Sir Edward Downes was born in Birmingham and studied and worked with Hermann Scherchen. He joined The Royal Opera, Covent Garden in 1952, where he remained a company member for seventeen years. He has since returned as a guest every year, becoming Associate Music Director in 1991. His relationship with the BBC Philharmonic extends over forty years, first as Chief Guest Conductor, then as Principal Conductor (1980–91) and now as Conductor Emeritus. He has toured with the orchestra all over the world as well as conducting concerts and recording in the UK. In 1970 he became Music Director of Opera Australia, conducting the inaugural performance at the Sydney Opera House. Until 1983 he was Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Orchestra. Sir Edward Downes has travelled widely as a guest conductor to opera houses and orchestras throughout the world, and been honoured by four music colleges and five universities as well as receiving the Laurence Olivier, Evening Standard, Critics Circle and Royal Philharmonic Society awards. He became a CBE in 1986 and was knighted in 1991.
Verdi Complete Preludes, Overtures and Ballet Music