Welsh conductor takes over at the San Francisco Ballet

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The Welsh conductor Andrew Mogrelia has been hired by the celebrated San Francisco Ballet company.

Mogrelia, 44, has been lured to California from his post as conductor in residence at the Birmingham Conservatoire.

The appointment follows a long audition process and ends a five-year period in which the San Francisco Ballet has been without a permanent musical director. Mogrelia was selected after impressing the company as one of six guest conductors who led its orchestra this season.

The Welsh conductor is a graduate of the Royal College of Music in London.

He has conducted at the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the Symphony Hall in Birmingham and worked with most of Britain's leading orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony.

The conductor has worked with the American Ballet, performing at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.

He has also conducted the orchestras of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Finnish National Ballet and the Norwegian National Ballet, with whom he does an annual performance of The Nutcracker.

He has made a series of recordings, most notably of Tchaikovsky's complete Sleeping Beauty.

His appointment to the San Francisco Ballet was announced five years after the late Denis de Coteau stepped down because of failing health.