Symphony & Chamber Orchestra Conductors

Marcello Palazzo


Marcello is a third year Music student studying at St. Chad’s College Durham, where he was a Choral Scholar in his first year. He began his studies at Junior Guildhall, and is a violinist, pianist, singer, conductor and composer.


A previous Music Scholar at secondary school, Marcello has received conducting tuition from Peter Stark, Timothy Burke and Jac Van Steen. As an orchestral conductor, he has been extremely fortunate to have had permission to watch rehearsals under conductors such Antonio Pappano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Ed Gardner and Simon Rattle, amongst others. Marcello feels very fortunate to have been present at Oliver Knussen’s final rehearsals with the BBCSO and George Benjamin’s rehearsals for his latest opera, Lessons in Love and Violence.


As a composer, he has been both Shortlisted and Highly Commended in the BBC Inspire Composition Competition and awarded a place as an NYO composer. Marcello was awarded 2nd prize at the Windsor Festival for vocal composition. He has engaged in masterclasses with Nico Muhly and Laura Bowler, and has studied with Christian Mason, David Horne, Laurence Osborn and Jonathan Woolgar. He is currently studying privately with Julian Anderson. Marcello recently won the DUOS Composition Competition under adjudication from James Weeks, John Casken and Sir Thomas Allen. His winning composition will be performed at The Sage in Gateshead with Sir Thomas Allen as narrator in June 2021.


In his previous two years at Durham, Marcello has also been the conductor of Durham University Chamber Choir, and has founded two ensembles: The Patchwork Ensemble and Durham University Concert Opera (DUCO), of which he was Musical Director and President. Marcello was also appointed Assistant Musical Director of Durham University Opera Ensemble (DOE) in the first term of his first year, and Musical Director during his second term. Other interests include writing short stories, poetry and plays; whilst at school, he won a regional poetry competition and directed and acted in his own play.


Marcello intends to take his composing and conducting onwards into professional capacities and is absolutely thrilled to be working with DUOS this academic year (2020/21).




Gabriel is in his third year at University College, Durham where he reads music. He began playing the cello aged 7 after being selected for a year of council run group lessons in Oakham, where he lived until 2018. He passed his Grade 8 with distinction aged 13. After 9 years of local tuition, Gabriel was accepted as a private student of Guy Johnston at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Having been at a state school in Peterborough until 16, Gabriel was awarded a fully funded music scholarship to study at Eton College as the ‘Andrew Lloyd Webber’ scholar where he was taught cello by Sue Lowe, with whom he continues to have lessons.

Gabriel has been a member of NCO (National Children’s Orchestra), NSSO (National School’s Symphony Orchestra), AYM (Aldeburgh Young Musicians) and BSA (Britten Sinfonia Academy) as well as several county youth orchestras. During his time with AYM, Gabriel acquired experience in both conducting and leadership. He has participated in conducting masterclasses with Jessica Cottis and Catherine Larsen-Maguire, rehearsing and performing passages from Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. He has also had the opportunity to collaborate with conductor Marin Alsop, providing invaluable insight into the rehearsal technique of great leaders. 


Gabriel is also a composer having studied composition with Jonathan Woolgar and Frederick Viner. He achieved 1st and 2nd prize in the Windsor School’s Composition Competition in 2017 as well as composing the original score for Eton College’s production of Othello and a short piece for Canterbury Cathedral choir. He has participated in masterclasses with composers such as Phillip Cashian, John Woolrich and Charlotte Bray. Gabriel has also conducted rehearsals, workshops and premiers of his own music.


Gabriel has served as principal cellist of DUOS’ Symphony and Chamber Orchestras as well as making his concerto debut with the Chamber Orchestra in 2019. He has performed as part of the ‘Durham Piano Quintet’ and ‘Patchwork Ensemble’. He greatly looks forward to the privilege and challenge of working with DUOS chamber in the coming academic year.