Stephen Bell was born in Bury, Lancashire, and won a place to study conducting and French horn at the Royal College of Music. In addition to holding the post of Principal Horn with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia and solo horn of the Haffner Wind Ensemble for several years, he is often asked to exchange his horn for the baton and now finds himself undertaking an increasingly demanding schedule working as guest conductor with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra, Guildford Philharmonic, Ulster Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, Manchester Concert Orchestra, BBC Singers and London Gala Orchestra, and frequent collaborations with prominent artists such as Guy Johnston, Stephen Hough, David Childs, Hayley Westenra, Murray McLachlan, Nicola-Jane Kemp, G4, Shan Cothi, Andy Abraham, Lynton Atkinson, Aled Jones, The Celtic Tenors, The OperaBabes, John Scott, Leland Chen, Camilla Roberts, Evelyn Chang, Bonaventura Bottone and Susan Bullock. Stephen Bell also holds the post of Artistic Director with the Elgar Chamber Orchestra. It was with this orchestra that he released his first disc as a conductor for Sanctuary Classics, of which critic Ivan March wrote in the international magazine The Gramophone, “Stephen Bell’s accompaniments with the excellent Elgar Chamber Orchestra could not be more polished ...”. He is a regular visitor to the RPO and has recorded an album with them of instrumental music by Roderick Elms.
He regularly undertakes live broadcasts for BBC Radio 2 (including the well-loved Friday Night is Music Night) and BBC Radio 3, and has subsequently been requested as conductor for several eminent occasions, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Concert at Chatsworth House, the Royal Festival Hall tribute concert for film music composer Stanley Black, the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Alistair Cooke, Children in Need for BBC1 and a live television and radio broadcast of the Last Night of the Proms in both 2005 and 2006 with the BBC Philharmonic.