Stephen Barlow has conducted most of the major UK orchestras, and concert appearances overseas have taken him as far afield as Aarhus, Adelaide, Amsterdam, Belgrade, Bilbao, Brisbane, Copenhagen, Detroit, Johannesburg, Lausanne, Lille and Perth. In 1997 he was appointed Music Director of the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra. Recordings include Joseph James' Requiem with Sumi Jo and his own composition Rainbow Bear with his wife, Joanna Lumley, as narrator.
At the beginning of his career, Stephen Barlow began a long association with Glyndebourne conducting The Rake's Progress for Glyndebourne Touring Opera. He co-founded Opera 80 (now English Touring Opera), where he was Music Director between 1988 and 1991. During this period he was resident conductor at English National Opera, conducted Scottish Opera, Dublin Grand Opera, Opera Northern Ireland (where he was also Artistic Director) and Opera North, also making his Covent Garden debut conducting Turandot, where he later returned for Die Zauberflöte.
Since then his international engagements have taken him to major opera houses across the World. He conducted the premieres of his own opera King in Canterbury Cathedral and of his Clarinet Concerto with Emma Johnson and the Ulster Orchestra. He is currently Artistic Director of Buxton Festival.