Howard Griffiths was born in England and studied at the Royal College of Music in London. He has lived in Switzerland since 1981. From 1996 to 2006 he was the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and successfully continued its long tradition of excellence in every respect. From 2007 to 2018 he was the General Music Director of the Brandenburg State Symphony Orchestra (BSOF) which was a very productive and successful partnership.
Howard Griffiths has appeared as a guest conductor with leading orchestras all over the world, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Orchestre National de France, Radio Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the London Mozart Players, the Orquesta Nacional de España, BBC NOW, the Belgrade Philharmonic, and many of the German radio orchestras. He performs with renowned artists such as Kathleen Battle, Joshua Bell, Sir James Galway, Evelyn Glennie, Edita Gruberova, Mischa Maisky, Mikhail Pletnev, Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, Maria João Pires, Fazil Say, Gil Shaham, Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Thomas Zehetmair.
Some 150 CD recordings bear witness to Howard Griffiths’ broad artistic range. His première recordings of rediscovered music dating from the 18th and 19th centuries (over 40 symphonies) have met with particular acclaim, such as his recordings of all eight symphonies by Beethoven’s pupil Ferdinand Ries. Howard Griffiths is also always receptive to new, unconventional ideas, such as his crossover projects with Giora Feidman, Roby Lakatos, Burhan Öçal and Abdullah Ibrahim. Howard Griffiths is also extremely committed to supporting and encouraging music among children and young people, and has developed several education projects in collaboration with the BSOF which reached out to more than 3,000 young people. He has also written a prize-winning, pedagogically successful trilogy of music books for children. For this he and the BSOF received a special prize from the German Orchestra Foundation.
Since the year 2000, Howard Griffiths has been the Artistic Director of the Orpheum Foundation for the Advancement of Young Soloists.
In 2006 Howard Griffiths was appointed a Member of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his services to musical life in Switzerland and in July 2019 he received the ‘Verdienstorden’ (Order of Merit) of the Land Brandenburg for his artistic and social engagement.