British conductor Kenneth Montgomery was born on 28 October 1943 in Belfast, where he grew up. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London. His teachers included Adrian Boult, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, Sergiu Celibidache and John Pritchard.
He began his conducting career at Glyndebourne and Sadlers Wells, then became music director of the Bournemouth Sinfonietta in 1973 and was music director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera. From 1985 he was artistic and musical director with Opera Northern Ireland. From 2007-2010 he was the first Belfast-born musician to be principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra.
He was a regular guest conductor at Santa Fe Opera and was briefly the organisation's music director in 2007. He was conductor laureate for the 2013 season.
Montgomery also worked with the Dutch Radio Symphony Orchestra (later known as the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra) and the Dutch Radio Choir. From 1991 he was director of opera studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, living in the Netherlands until his death in Amsterdam on 5 March 2023, aged seventy-nine.
Classical music news - March 2023 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month
Ensemble. Thoroughly Delightful - Maria Nockin visits Santa Fe Opera and experiences all of their 2014 productions
Ensemble. A Magical Week - Maria Nockin reports from Santa Fe
Ensemble. A Wonderful Experience - Maria Nockin visits Santa Fe for operas by Verdi, Mozart, Britten and Handel, plus the first American performance of Kaija Saariaho's 'Adriana Mater'
Ensemble. An Oft Told Tale - Santa Fe Opera's 'Cendrillon', praised by Maria Nockin
A straight line career path - Conductor Kenneth Montgomery talks to Maria Nockin about his life, his music and upcoming events