Dinis Sousa, the maestro who saved the show after that punch

After John Eliot Gardiner struck a singer, his 35-year-old protégé stepped in to conduct the Monteverdi Choir. He speaks to Richard Morrison

Dinis Sousa, the Portuguese conductor
Dinis Sousa, the Portuguese conductor
The Times

I hadn’t heard of Dinis Sousa until April 2021. That was when, seemingly out of the blue, he was appointed principal conductor of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the resident orchestra of what was then called Sage Gateshead, now the Glasshouse.

Born in Portugal but largely trained as a musician in London, he was 33 when he got the job, having conducted the RNS in only a couple of Beethoven symphonies. “From the first rehearsal I could feel there was something inspiring in the air,” he says. “It was like when you meet someone and immediately fall in love.”

I sensed that strong two-way connection when I reviewed one of Sousa’s first concerts in Gateshead. “The Royal Northern Sinfonia is clearly on a fast