George Hurst was born in 1926 in Edinburgh of Russian and Romanian parentage and won early distinction in Canada as a composer while a student at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. At the age of 21 he was appointed professor of composition at the Peabody Institute of Baltimore and from 1950 to 1955 was concurrently conductor of the Peabody Conservatory Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra of York, Pennsylvania, studying during this period with Pierre Monteux. Encouraged by Myra Hess to return to England, he made his London début in 1953 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he served as Assistant Conductor until his appointment as Principal Conductor of the BBC Northern Orchestra, now the BBC Philharmonic, a position he held from 1958 for some ten years. He served as artistic adviser from1968 to 1974 to the Western Orchestral Society, which controls the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Bournemouth Sinfonietta. George Hurst has conducted all the major orchestras of the united Kingdom and Ireland, serving as principal conductor from 1990 to 1993 of the newly reconstituted National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, and has made guest appearances with many of the most distinguished orchestras of Europe.