© Robbie Jack
As pianist he has performed with leading orchestras and conductors including Ashkenazy, Boulez, Boult, Davis, Jansons, Rozhdestvensky and Sanderling. In 1983 he gave a unique series of five London recitals, broadcast by the BBC, of Rachmaninov's complete solo piano music.
Since his conducting debut with the LSO in 1985, Shelley has conducted all four London symphony orchestras, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, the RTE National Symphony in Dublin and BBC National Symphony of Wales as well as the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico, Munich Symphony, St Gallen Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Symphony. His engagements are now mostly in the dual role of conductor/soloist with particularly close relationships with a number of chamber orchestras around the world. He is Conductor Laureate of the London Mozart Players and has toured with them in Europe and Asia. Their many recordings together have received critical acclaim. Shelley has also been Principal Conductor of Sweden's Uppsala Chamber Orchestra. In addition to close relationships with the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto in Italy, Orchestra Svizzera Italiana in Switzerland, Poland's Sinfonia Varsovia and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra with most of whom he also records regularly, other chamber orchestras with whom he has worked include the Northern Sinfonia, the English Chamber Orchestra, Swedish Chamber, Zurich Chamber, Netherlands Chamber & Stuttgart Chamber orchestras, Våsteras Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Orchestre de Picardie and Camerata Salzburg.
Television highlights include the 100th anniversary of the BBC Proms, a broadcast on Swiss-Italian television of Vaughan Williams' London Symphony and a documentary on Ravel made in 1998 by the ABC which won the Gold Medal for the best arts biography of the year at the New York Festivals Awards.
Shelley's discography now exceeds 150 cds in the Chandos, Hyperion, and EMI catalogues and includes the complete Rachmaninov piano music and concertos, series of Mozart, Hummel, and Mendelssohn concertos, Gershwin's works for piano & orchestra and many British concertos for Chandos. World première contributions to Hyperion's Romantic Piano series include concertos by Moscheles, Herz, Hiller, Kalkbrenner and many others. Recent issues feature boxed sets of Haydn's 'London' symphonies and a 14-CD survey of Clementi for Hyperion, and Beethoven's complete works for piano and orchestra for Chandos as well as discs of Chopin's sonatas and piano concertos by Dobryznski and Lessel for the Chopin Institute in Warsaw. He is currently recording a survey of Mendelssohn solo piano music for Hyperion.
Howard Shelley is married to Hilary Macnamara and they have two sons. An Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Music, he was awarded an OBE for services to classical music in 2009.