Sir Colin studied as a clarinettist but carried on to work as a freelance conductor before appointments with the BBC Scottish Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. From 1995 to 2006 he was principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. As well as guest conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Dresden Staatskapelle, he also held the musical directorships of Sadler's Wells Opera and the Royal Opera House, where he was principal conductor for over fifteen years.
His repertoire ranged from Mozart and Beethoven through Berlioz, Elgar and Sibelius to Michael Tippett. Sir Colin made many fine recordings for Philips and, in recent years, many fine recordings on the LSO’s own label LSO Live, including an acclaimed series of Berlioz recordings. http://lso.co.uk/