As a conductor, Bede has experience with professional, amateur and youth orchestras, professional and amateur choirs, and brass bands of all abilities. With the St Andrews New Music Ensemble he has given composer portrait concerts for Tansy Davies, Thea Musgrave, Sally Beamish, Paul Mealor, and James MacMillan, all of which were attended by the composer. The ensemble also performed for Steve Reich at his Glasgow Minimal Festival. He gave the world premiere of the chamber version of Thea Musgrave’s Three Women (with soprano Lesley-Jane Rogers) and John Wallace’s Opsnizing Dad (with tenor Jamie McDougall). As a student he gave the premiere performance of John De Simone’s Symphony, and, with John Wallace, has premiered and recorded movements of John’s epic Symphony for Brass. Bede has established a particularly fruitful relationship with Eddie McGuire, having performed his wind ensemble music with members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, some of the music being dedicated to Bede. In total, Bede has given more than 40 world premieres and many significant territorial premieres.
He is proud that some of his performances of music by New Zealand composers are archived as reference recordings on sounz.org. He has guest conducted nearly all championship section brass bands in Scotland, and has enjoyed a number of long-term associations with bands as a resident conductor. In the arena of popular music, he has collaborated with Steve Harley and the Cockney Rebels, having conducted his symphonic orchestra and rock band concerts in Glasgow. He has also produced new string quartet arrangements for Eddie Reader. One of his proudest moments as a conductor was conducting the National Anthem of New Zealand to 67,000 people in Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, for the 2022 rugby match between Scotland and New Zealand (New Zealand’s 20th consecutive win against Scotland).
Opera and vocal