Martin Koch

Nationality: British

Being a graduate of London’s Royal College of Music, Martin Koch has orchestrated many of the most popular musicals at West End theatre since the late 1970s, including Chicago, Oliver, and Mamma Mia! He supervised the productions of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon in the Netherlands, Australia, Poland, Austria, South Africa, Norway, and several Asian countries. He was the musical director of several award shows in the 1990s, including the Laurence Olivier Awards from 1993 to 1995. With Nick Gilpin, he founded a music production company and he worked on productions with Anastacia, Diana Krall, Michael Bublé, and Cliff Richard. In 2009, Koch won no fewer than three awards (Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Broadway World Award) for his orchestration to the musical Billy Elliot.

Martin Koch was the musical director of the last Eurovision Song Contest to date with live orchestral accompaniment; this was in 1998, when the festival was held in Birmingham. Koch arranged the music to the opening and closing sequences and the interval entertainment ‘Jupiter – the bringer of jollity’, featuring Lesley Garrett and Vanessa Mae. Because the live music rule was no longer in force, several countries’ delegations chose to not use the accompaniment of the BBC Concert Orchestra at all. Koch himself conducted the French entry Marie-Line’s ‘Où aller’; the decision to have the backing track to this song enriched with live string accompaniment was only taken in the course of the rehearsals leading up to the live broadcast.

In due course, a more extensive biography of Martin Koch will be published on this website



Songs conducted
1998: Où aller

Musical director
1998: Birmingham