Howard Moody has a versatile career as a composer, conductor and keyboard player. Commissions as a composer include two operas for La Monnaie, six symphonic works for the London Symphony Orchestra, a symphony and a set of variations for the stage pieces for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Anvil, Station House Opera, Bangladesh Festival, instrumental works for La Folia, John Surman and Jack de Johnette. Choral works include commissions from the Salisbury International Arts Festival, Childrens Music Workshop, the Cultural Olympiad, the Southern Cathedrals' Festival and the National Forest project. He has also written a Requiem with the flamenco guitarist Paco Peña.
He is artistic director of La Folia and has also conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, London Mozart Players, the Hallé Orchestra, Bournemouth Orchestras, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra delle Toscana, IAPS Orchestras, Opera Factory, Icelandic Opera, Netherlands Radio Chorus, Romanian State Chorus, Schola Cantorum of Oxford, Salisbury Festival Chorus, Monteverdi Choir, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, IAPS Orchestras, Jupiter Orchestra, Wolsey Orchestra, Emerald Ensemble, Endymion Ensemble, and numerous choral groups throughout Europe. In addition he has worked in the West End as a musical director and has also worked on the music staff of ENO and Glyndebourne. He has recorded for the BBC, Netherlands Radio, Chandos, and ECM.
As a keyboard player he plays harpsichord, organ, fortepiano, modern piano and synthesizers, performing in numerous international festivals. As a pianist he has given many recitals with violinist Ken Aiso and tenor Nigel Robson, soprano Lynne Dawson and cellist David Watkin (with whom he has recorded the Beethoven Cello Sonatas). He is also keyboard player for the English Baroque Soloists (working closely with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, during the 2000 Bach Pilgrimage as keyboard continuo player and assistant conductor). He has also played with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the Orchestra af St John's as well as in ensembles with members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the London Symphony Orchestra.
A special interest in creative projects that aim to develop young people's imaginative ideas into dramatic, instrumental and vocal works involves him as a composer and animateur for the La Folia, Theatre Royal Norwich and Chichester Festival Theatre.
He has worked extensively with John Surman with whom he has toured many international jazz festivals as both conductor and improviser, giving many performances of the award-winning album Proverbs and Songs (that received a Mercury award). He has given the premiere of Surman's concerto for saxophone and piano Ultimate Voyage as conductor and pianist and has transcribed and orchestrated the album Road to St Ives. They have released a duo album for ECM of improvised music for organ and saxophone, Rain on the Window, released April 08, and have performed improvised concerts as a duo in jazz festivals in Canada, Italy, Norway, UK, Poland and Germany
Other collaborations have included working with musicians and artists as diverse as Marianne Faithfull and Marc Almond (including orchestrating and arranging their songs), Abdullah Ibrahim, the poet Ian McMillan (with whom he has written a musical), David Jackson, Barry Guy, the opera director David Freeman, singer Marie Angel, the jazz trio Terza Rima, and Julian Marshall (Out of the Darkness project).
He studied at New College Oxford (organ scholar) and the Guildhall School of Music. He was a prizewinner in both diplomas of the Royal College of Organists and was also principal second violin in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
He is passionate about commissioning new music to be played alongside familiar repertoire, and is constantly programming events that present music in both formal and informal settings. Through La Folia he has commissioned music from Richard Chew, Joby Talbot, John Surman, Francis Grier, Francis Pott, Joe Duddell, Victor Unukovsky, Adrian Zolotuhin, Sarah Homer and Jeff Moore. As a conductor he aims to generate innovative and exciting events that break down barriers between different styles of music.