Charles Hazlewood

Charles Hazlewood

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Conductor and Founder of Paraorchestra

To book Charles Hazlewood please contact your JLA Agent.


Charles has worked with many of the world's greatest orchestras, including Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, The Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic and Danish Radio Symphony. His career has seen him play Carnegie Hall, and the BBC Proms. He has collaborated with artists as diverse as Nigel Kennedy, Goldie, and Wyclef Jean. Charles is also an engaging live speaker who hosts motivational and interactive presentations that draw metaphors between a working orchestra and a business environment.


Charles Hazlewood is a conductor, speaker, and Artistic Director of Paraorchestra. He has conducted some of the greatest classical repertoire with some of the best orchestras in the world and is a significant presence on British television and radio. He was awarded the Sir Charles Groves Prize for his outstanding contribution to the musical life of the United Kingdom.

Charles won first prize in the European Broadcasting Union Conducting Competition during his early twenties and has since conducted many of the world's greatest orchestras including The Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, The Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, and Danish Radio Symphony. He has played Carnegie Hall, the BBC Proms, and multiple festivals throughout the world, collaborating with artists as diverse as Nigel Kennedy, Professor Green, and Wyclef Jean. Charles has conducted over two hundred world premieres and won the Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear for Best Film with his South African township opera company's U Carmen e-Khayelitsha.

Under Charles’ leadership Paraorchestra became the world's first large-scale integrated ensemble of professional disabled and non-disabled musicians who made their debut at the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics and were the first ever orchestral headliner at Glastonbury Festival.

Charles has authored, presented, and conducted the music in multiple films for BBC TV (on Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, as well as The Beatles, and Badly Drawn Boy). He has won three Sony Awards for his shows on BBC Radio 2, created the score for the South African Mysteries (West End and worldwide), Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs), and opera The Tin Drum (both Kneehigh).

Alongside presenting, Charles is also an engaging live speaker who hosts motivational and interactive presentations that draw metaphors between a working orchestra and a typical business environment. Both music and business depend on individuals and groups working as part of a whole, in pursuit of a common goal. In his talks, Charles addresses leadership challenges, including the fundamental necessity for clear communication and creating and communicating a single vision through strong teamwork. He also looks at the different dynamics amongst groups and how to handle tricky individuals.

Charles can also introduce an interactive element to his presentation as he gets groups of audience members to produce sounds on command. After each group has mastered their own sound-producing challenge, they ultimately join together to perform as one. The result is a distinctive composition, which provides a dramatic illustration of exactly what can be achieved by working together in a positive, productive, and committed way.

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