Patrick Ayrton divides his time between performance on a variety of keyboards and his work as a conductor. He studied organ and sacred music at the Vienna Academy where he was a pupil of Alfred Mitterhofer, Michael Radulescu and Erwin Ortner. Later, he moved to The Netherlands where he followed courses in harpsichord and chamber music under the guidance of Ton Koopman. He was a laureate of the Organ Competitions at Innsbruck in 1983 and Bruges in 1985. Patrick Ayrton currently teaches thorough-bass, chamber music and improvisation at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague. He has been a tutor for the European Union Baroque Orchestra audition courses and has given masterclasses at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory and Gnessin School in Moscow, the Yonsei University of Seoul, the Latvian Academy in Riga and the Summer School of the Salzburg Mozarteum. Patrick Ayrton is the central figure in a documentary film based on “Tregian’s Ground”, a prize-winning novel by the Swiss writer Anne Cuneo. His association and collaboration with the Dutch conductor Arie van Beek has led him to develop his skills as a music director. In recent years, he has received invitations to conduct orchestras of repute such as the Orchestra of the Auvergne, the Chamber Academy of Potsdam, the Dijon-Bourgogne Orchestra, the Pasdeloup Orchestra in Paris, the Nordic Chamber Orchestra (Sweden), the Symphony Orchestra of Cannes and the Chamber Orchestra of Munich. Patrick Ayrton is also the founder of the Les Inventions, a period ensemble which explores uncharted 18th century repertoire, such as the works of Joseph Touchemoulin and Thomas Linley. Les Inventions work in close partnership with acclaimed British vocal ensemble VOCES8. Patrick Ayrton is also known for his pre-concert talks and is a regular lecturer. In 2004, he was appointed artistic director of the Bach en Combrailles Festival in France.