MANOJ KAMPS (Sri Lanka, 1988) held the coveted post of Junior Fellow in Orchestral Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester from 2015-2017. During this time he worked with the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra and Manchester Camerata, studying with Sir Mark Elder, Clark Rundell and Mark Heron.
His 2018/19 season highlights include conducting the first semi-staged performances of MILA, Great Sorcerer, a new opera by Andrea Clearfield at the Prototype Festival in New York. He also conducts the world première of Coded Messages: Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman, a new chamber opera by Hilda Paredes with Muziektheater Transparant and HERMESensemble featuring Claron McFadden for whom this was written. After the première at the Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam in October 2018, the production will tour to the Cervantino Festival in Mexico, Huddersfield International Contemporary Music Festival, Rotterdam Opera Music Days, the Theatre de la Croix Rousse in Lyon, and deSingel in Antwerp. He will also make his debuts with Brucknerhaus Orchester Linz, Brussels Philharmonic, and return to Asko|Schönberg Ensemble with whom he will conduct the Dutch première of The Gender Agenda by Philip Venables.
Highlights of previous seasons include his debut with the BBC Philharmonic in a selection of tone poems as well as Vivier’s Lonely Child; the world première and European tour of the chamber opera Be With Me Now at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence; a new production of The Fairy Queen for Nederlandse Reisopera; Side by Side at Ulster Orchestra; Carte Blanche featuring music by Vivier with Cappella Amsterdam; and Connect with the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble. He also led several projects recently with the Chineke! Juniors during festivals at the Southbank Centre in London. Other notable projects include performances with the Dutch National Opera Academy, Netherlands Chamber Choir, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Choir, Silbersee/VocaalLAB, and the Tokyo Telemann Chamber Orchestra.
Contemporary music has always been a cornerstone of Manoj’s career and he has conducted premières by Michel van der Aa (The Book of Sand, a digital project created by the composer), Peter Eötvös (Dutch première of da capo with ensemble Ludwig), Karlheinz Stockhausen (Dutch première of Mikrophonie II), Louis Andriessen (first performances of early works, under the composer’s guidance), Rob Zuidam, Boudewijn Tarenskeen, Klaas de Vries and Rodion Shchedrin, at festivals such as the Holland Festival, the AAA Festival of the Royal Concertgebouw, Aldeburgh Festival, November Music, Gaudeamus Festival and Musica Sacra Maastricht.
This season, Manoj will serve as assistant conductor for the Nederlandse Reisopera’s production of Korngold’s Die tote Stadt. Previously, Manoj has assisted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Konzerthausorchester Berlin (for Iván Fischer), BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (Juanjo Mena), Dutch National Opera (Romain Bischoff), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (Andrew Manze), Prague Symphony Orchestra (Jac van Steen), Rundfunkchor Berlin (Simon Rattle) and the Netherlands Bach Society (Ed Spanjaard). He has also worked for Esa-Pekka Salonen and Sir Andrew Davis.
Manoj was selected to participate in masterclasses with Bernard Haitink (Lucerne Festival), Carlo Rizzi (European Network of Opera Academies), Marc Albrecht (Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra), Simon Halsey (Rundfunkchor Berlin), Juanjo Mena, Vasily Petrenko, Jorma Panula, and George Hurst.
Manoj began his music lessons with Sureka Amerasinghe and is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague, where he studied orchestral conducting (with Jac van Steen and Kenneth Montgomery); composition (with Roderik de Man and Calliope Tsoupaki) and choral conducting (with Jos van Veldhoven and Jos Vermunt), completing the latter with highest honours. He received further professional coaching in choral conducting by Daniel Reuss. He has been supported generously in his studies by the Kersjes Fund for Conductors, the Ars Lunga Foundation and the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.
He is a passionate advocate of music educational projects. Besides his work with the Chineke! Juniors, he also collaborated with the Dutch Radio Music Centre and the Dutch National Opera on large educational projects and has created his own projects which allow schoolchildren to be an integral part of (semi)-professional productions.
For an audiovisual impression of Manoj’s work, please have a look at the Media section of this website.
Last updated in December 2018
No alterations to this biography may be made without my permission. Please contact me if you wish to use this (or a shortened version of this) biography. A Dutch version is available upon request.