Conductor William Lacey was born in London in 1973. He trained initially as a pianist, studied chamber music with Alfred Brendel and György Kurtág, and graduated from King’s College, Cambridge with a first-class degree in music. He then spent three years in London, working as a conductor, pianist and coach, and concentrating especially on contemporary music. He began his international career as the Staff Conductor at San Francisco Opera, from 1998 to 2001. At San Francisco he conducted nine different operas (including Aida, La bohème and The Tsar's Bride), and assisted Mackerras, Gergiev and Runnicles (notably on Der Ring des Nibelungen, Parsifal and Tristan und Isolde). Later he spent three years as Erster Koordinierter Kapellmeister at the Oper Leipzig. In this position he conducted over one hundred performances of a very wide repertoire with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, one of the oldest and most tradition-rich orchestras in the world. His Leipzig performances included Hänsel und Gretel, Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, Die Fledermaus, Die Zauberflöte, La Traviata, Macbeth, La traviata, and La bohème.
William Lacey is now internationally active as a guest conductor. He has performed regularly with Plácido Domingo, including Tamerlano in Barcelona, Washington, and Los Angeles, and Iphigénie en Tauride in Washington. In collaboration with Graham Vick and his inspirational Birmingham Opera Company, he has conducted new productions of Fidelio, Idomeneo and Don Giovanni, and the world premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Life is a Dream.