A Really Talented Guest Conductor - a young English conductor at the conductor's podium.

"The English conductor is Julian Clayton who appeared at the conductor's podium of the Philharmonic Orchestra Hrádec Králové. From the outset nobody had any doubts about his talent and his musicality as soon as he started interpreting the compositions of JS Bach, Shostakovich, Poulenc and Ravel ..... Mr Clayton was absolutely perfect being an enlightened and musically full-blooded conductor....."

Hrádecké noviny

a programme that hit the spot

"Under Julian Clayton's direction the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra was in full flow ..... a programme that hit the spot - slick, tuneful, bright and breezy, and well played to boot."

Kenneth Walton The Scotsman

a tremendous sense of togetherness

Scottish Philharmonic Orchestra - Oran Mor

"John Ireland's Concertino Pastorale and Vaughan Williams's Concerto Grosso framed the concert, with this week's guest conductor, Julian Clayton, managing to get a tremendous sense of togetherness from this smaller than normal ensemble."

Amy Parker The Herald

Aberdeen International Festival Gala Concert 2006

"For me, however, it was with Copland's Suite from his Opera, The Tender Land, that the orchestra, under guest conductor Julian Clayton, really came into its own."

"Lovely, luminous playing led to a joyful finale in which the orchestra (The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra from Illinois, USA) was joined triumphantly by the University of the Philippines Concert Choir and the Tianjin Choir from China."

Alan Cooper The Herald

Musical partners are in perfect harmony

The internationally renowned conductor Julian Clayton has made a considerable impression in the north-east at the International Youth Festival and as the conductor of the superb Grampian Youth Orchestra.

Now he has turned his baton and his considerable interprative powers on the Aberdeen Sinfonietta.

Last night at the Music Hall in Aberdeen he conducted the orchestra in an excellent concert that included Beethoven's Egmont Overture and Piano Concerto No 4 and Elgar's First Symphony. This is the Aberdeen Sinfonietta's twentieth anniversary season and this was a fitting way to celebrate it.

Every section of the orchestra sounded on top form for Clayton, but the main attraction of the evening was the world class virtuoso pianist Mikhail Kazakevich performing Beethoven's Fourth Concerto.

Last night he was on his usual passionate form, creating from silence one of the great works for the piano with an Aberdeen Sinfonietta the perfect musical partner.

Roddy Phillips The Press and Journal

A consistently exciting, sculpted performance

"directed by renowned conductor, Julian Clayton"

"Clayton, I think brings out the best in them (Aberdeen Sinfonietta) as he does with every orchestra that he conducts. They seemed on particularly fine form last night producing a professional sound that was nothing short of thrilling."

Roddy Phillips The Press and Journal

a perfectly focused and incisive performance

"The Grampian Youth Orchestra is proving itself to be one of the most significant byproducts of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival. Their contribution to Sunday's concert by the University of Aberdeen Chamber Orchestra was quite remarkable. Under their conductor Julian Clayton, they gave a perfectly focused and incisive performance of Kenneth Leighton's Dance Suite No 2. Confident, lively playing of a fully professional standard made this work the highlight of the entire concert. How splendid it was to be able to relax and enjoy the music, confident after just the first few bars that everything was going to go without a hitch."

Alan Cooper The Herald

GYO back with a jaw-dropping performance

After several years in development, the Grampian Youth Orchestra was revived officially last summer by the Aberdeen International Youth Festival for what could have been a single performance.

However, the GYO under the baton of the superb conductor Julian Clayton was an enormous success and took the public and certainly this critic totally by surprise.

However, this barely prepared us for the jaw-dropping sound of the GYO performing Leighton's Dance Suite with all the verve, attack, precision and passion of a mature orchestra.

Roddy Phillips The Press and Journal

Julian Clayton, a man who with keen and versatile control over his troops

"I must confess that, when the National Children's Orchestra of Scotland was founded in 1996, and on several occasions since, it seemed no more than a useful breaking-in experience for young musicians aged between eight and fourteen who might aspire to graduate into a bigger youth orchestra.

All that changed last night with the best concert the orchestra has given, a concert where technical ability could be taken as read, and where - breathtakingly at moments - real and serious musical potential was on display in an event where no allowances needed to be made for youth or inexperience.

This was due to the clear-headed coaching the orchestra has received, the superlative direction, on the night, of conductor Julian Clayton, a man who with keen and versatile control over his troops, and a musician who, having harnessed his resources, knew how and when to unleash them to effect.

From the outset, in an incisive version of Vaughan Williams Wasps Overture, buzzing like a hornet's nest, with its big themes soaring over the strings, this was music-making that gripped. The sound produced by the orchestra was rich and full, especially in the accompaniment to Elgar's georgeous Sea Pictures.

..... a rumbustious performance of Eric Coates's London Suite, with Clayton leading his charges with expertise and gusto."

Michael Tumelty The Herald

Firebird was sensational

"Stravinsky's ..... Firebird music was little short of sensational, conducted by Julian Clayton....."

London Evening Standard

a triumph

"The finale ..... was a triumph. Combining massed instrumental forces and conducted by Julian Clayton, Edward McGuire's 'Voyage Home' opened with plaintive flute sounding over a tidal susurrus and built into a thrilling climax as the theme was answered by a pipe and drum squad which strode on, to gell neatly with the rest of the orchestra - no easy trick to pull off."

Jim Gilchrist The Scotsman

standard was astonishing

"The standard achieved by these young players aged between 8 and 14 was quite astonishing and a ringing endorsement of the work of Julian Clayton, whose expert and sympathetic guidance produced a tight and focused ensemble from his talented charges."

Stephen Strugnell The Herald

rare breed of conductors

"..... conducted by Julian Clayton, one of the rare breed of conductors who is psychologically and temperamentally attuned to working with the group's eight to fourteen years age range."

Kenny Mathieson Times Educational Supplement

a good night for Scottish music scene

"Every note they played last night under conductor Julian Clayton suggested confidence in the material they were dealing with. All in, a good night for the young ones of the Scottish music scene."

Michael Tumelty The Herald

quite overwhelming

"One should always be prepared to be surprised when attending a Chetham's School of Music end-of-year concert. Rightly, one expects much of the talented musicians; but the impact of Chetham's Symphony Orchestra's performance of Ravel's poeme choregraphique, 'La Valse' ..... was quite overwhelming."

Paul Dewhirst The Daily Telegraph

great credit to Julian Clayton

" ..... finely observed details that were typical of this performance, a performance which reflected great credit on the conductor, Julian Clayton ..... "

Paul Dewhirst The Daily Telegraph

a remarkable performance of Elgar's Symphony No 1

"Above all, don't miss a remarkable performance of Elgar's Symphony No 1 by the Chethams Symphony Orchestra conducted by Julian Clayton. This is a performance recorded at the Barbican last month and I do not exaggerate when I say that it compares more than favourably with almost any existing version. The playing is phenomenal and Clayton's interpretation goes right to the heart of the matter. A must."

Michael Kennedy Sunday Telegraph

the finest Elgar performances

"In such moments as the glorious passage in the middle of the finale where the Introduction theme comes in augmentation on the violins, there was the irresistible tug, the gulp in the throat, that is the mark of the finest Elgar performances."

"The clarity given to Elgar's complex textures was also a tribute to the control of Julian Clayton and his training of the players. It is a great achievement so to have drawn out young musicians that they can respond as though spontaneously. yet with such polish, to the complexities of Elgarian rubato and pacing."

Edward Greenfield

emotional surge

" ..... Bliss' Things to Come with Julian Clayton ..... underlining the emotional surge ....."

Edward Greenfield The Guardian

many moments of magic

"And yes, it really was as moving, thrilling and urgently expressive as it sounded."

"Julian Clayton, conducting without score, built it with remarkable success, drawing many moments of magic from his young charges."

Yorkshire Post

Chethams Chamber Orchestra begged for comparison with the great British orchestras

"Chethams Chamber Orchestra, under its conductor Julian Clayton, began Tchaikovsky's Serenade in C with such richness that they begged for comparison with the great British orchestras ....."

Yorkshire Post

Julian Clayton detail and balance

"I was impressed by Julian Clayton's conducting which placed great emphasis on detail and balance ....."

Manchester Evening News

a most impressive reading

"It was a most impressive reading, made all the more successful by the playing of her colleagues under the careful and intelligent direction of Julian Clayton. The high point (of the Elgar Violin Concerto) was the final cadenza ..... turned into a passage of haunting beauty."

Manchester Evening News

ably conducted by Julian Clayton

"They were very ably conducted by Julian Clayton, whose fine technique crafted some excellent performances."

"This was impressive playing, with skilled leadership; a taste of what talent and quality education can achieve."

Oxford Times

a sound that is astonishingly rich

" ..... under the meticulous direction of their conductor Julian Clayton ..... they produced a corporate sound that is astonishingly rich, mature and admirably disciplined."

Oxford Times

an excellent conductor

"Julian Clayton is an excellent conductor, his clear technique giving players every help."

Sheffield Evening Star

authoritative and efficient conductor

"Particularly noteworthy ..... the discipline and balance of the whole ensemble ..... Julian Clayton was their authoritative and efficient conductor."

Huddersfield Examiner

a performance of enormous stature

"Conductor Julian Clayton's approach was suitably expansive, his choice of tempi uniformly well-judged and his control of dynamics admirable."

" ..... a performance of enormous stature ..... "

Huddersfield Examiner

most exquisite playing at this year's Festival

"Some of the most exquisite playing at this year's (Aberdeen) Festival was heard last night, not just from the wonderful soloists but from Camerata Scotland, the Chamber Orchestra of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, conducted by Julian Clayton."

"A needle-sharp performance of Rossini's overture, The Italian Girl in Algiers set the standard that was fully maintained ..... "

" ..... performances which were technically breathtaking and thoroughly entrancing ..... "

Michael Tumelty The Herald

quite overwhelming

"One should always be prepared to be surprised when attending a Chetham's School of Music end-of-year concert. Rightly, one expects much of the talented musicians; but the impact of Chetham's Symphony Orchestra's performance of Ravel's poeme choregraphique, 'La Valse' ..... was quite overwhelming."

Paul Dewhirst The Daily Telegraph