Murray Hipkin studied at York University, the Guildhall and the National Opera Studio before joining the Music Staff of English National Opera (1983–1988) and then working for Opéra de Lyon, La Monnaie, Opera Factory, Scottish Opera and, as Musical Director, Opera Brava.
Since returning to ENO in 1995, he has appeared in Mahagonny, The Silver Tassie, Leoncavallo’s La bohème, The Rake’s Progress and Trial by Jury; as Senior Répétiteur his productions over 24 seasons have included Phyllida Lloyd’s Ring Cycle and Terry Gilliam’s The Damnation of Faust; as Assistant Conductor he worked on, most recently, Sweeney Todd(with Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel), The Barber of Seville, Akhnaten, Sunset Boulevard (staring Glenn Close), The Pearlfishers, Carousel, and Chess. In 2013 he played the solo piano in a revival of Deborah Warner’s production of Britten’s Death in Venice (available on DVD).
He has conducted La bohème (Surrey Opera, Opera Box); Salieri Falstaff, Haydn La vera costanza, Mozart Apollo and Hyacinth, Gluck Le cinesi (Bampton Classical Opera), and for ENO, The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, The Gondoliers, Kismet, Carousel (with Katherine Jenkins and Alfie Boe) and Chess (with Michael Ball and Alexandra Burke). In July 2010 he was Associate Conductor of The Duchess of Malfi by Torsten Rasch (ENO / Punchdrunk).
Other highlights include assisting the composer John Adams and conducting on location for the Channel 4 film The Death of Klinghoffer and Pierrot Lunaire with Björk at the Verbier Festival. In September 2012 he assisted John Adams once again on Nixon in China at the BBC Proms and the Berlin Philharmonie, and in November 2018 he worked on Sweeney Todd for Bergen National Opera. In February 2009 Murray completed an eight-month sabbatical from ENO as Musical Director of The Sound of Music at the London Palladium, conducting over 170 performances.
He has been Musical Director of NLC since January 2003 and of the Pink Singers, Europe’s longest running LGBT+ choir, since November 2010, and recently appeared as Music Supervisor and coach in the Sky Arts/ENO/Factory Films reality series Anyone Can Sing. The past year has included a return to Bampton Classical Opera to work on Haydn’s Fool Moon (Il mondo della luna) and in August he is conducting The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado and The Yeoman of the Guard as part of the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival at Buxton Opera House.
Murray Hipkin is a member of English National Opera and appears by permission.