When Nigel Gaynor picks up the baton to conduct Swan Lakefor Queensland Ballet – as he will do until next Saturday – it will be the completion of a circle that began 35 years ago in Sydney. For it was being taken to see an Australian Ballet production of Swan Lake, while studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, that set him on the path to an international career as a specialist ballet conductor and a highly regarded ballet accompanist.

Nigel Gaynor. Photograph © Queensland Ballet

Gaynor joined Queensland Ballet last year as Music Director and Principal Conductor after holding positions with the Australian Ballet, Northern Ballet in the UK and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. He has also worked with English National Ballet and the Royal Ballet.

Gaynor first worked with QB in 2015 as guest conductor of The Sleeping Beautyand was subsequently invited by Artistic Director Li Cunxin to become part of the artistic team – an offer he accepted with alacrity.

“It happened at the right time for me and my wife. We’re both Australian, and my wife’s from Brisbane. In recent years, I’ve been directing in...