The English conductor and music educator, Brian Priestman, was educated at the University of Birmingham in England (Batchelor of Music, 1950; M.A., 1952) and the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles in Belgium (Diploma, 1952).
After serving as founder-conductor of the Opera da Camera and the Orchestrea da Camera in Birmingham, Brian Priestman was Music Director of the Royal Shaekspeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon (1960-1963). Later during his distinguished career he has held positions Music Director of the Edmonton Symphony (1964-1968), Resident Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony (1968-1969), Music Director of the Denver Symphony (1970-1978), Principal Conductor of the New Zealand National Orchestra in Wellington (1973-1976), Music Director of the Florida Philharmonic (1977-1980), Music Director of the Canadian National Youth Orchestra, Principal Conductor of the Cape Town Symphony (1980-1986), Professor and Head of the Department of Music at the University of Cape Town and Dean of the Faculty of Music and Director of the South African College of Music, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Malmû Symphony (1988-1990). From 1992 Priestman was artist-in-residence and director of the University Symphony Orchestra at the University of Kansas at Lawrence.
Brian Priestman was a regular conductor with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Scottish, Northern, Welsch, and Northern Ireland Orchestras, the New York Opera Company at Sadler Wells Theatre, all major British orchestras espcially including the Hallé Orchestra, Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Philharmonia Orchestra, Belgian, Swedish, and other European orchestras, and many major orchestras in North America. He conducted on many occaisions for television on CBC with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Montréal Orchestra and SABC in South Africa.
Brian Priestman recorded with RCA, Westminster Records, Musique en Wallonie, and Discographie du Concours Musical Reine Elizabeth. He wrote articles in music periodicals and encyclopeidas including New Groves, Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, the Encyclopedia Britannica, and Music and Letters. He was awarded honorary doctoral from Regis College, Denver, and the University of Colorado. In addition, he was awarded the Golden Lyre by the American Institute of High Fidelity for services to music in the USA.