Geoffrey Paterson studied at Cambridge University and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He took composition lessons with Alexander Goehr, participated in conducting masterclasses with Pierre Boulez and trained as a repetiteur at the National Opera Studio. He won First Prize at the 2009 Leeds Conductors Competition, also winning the audience prize.

He works regularly at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where he was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, assisting conductors including Antonio Pappano, Mark Elder, Andris Nelsons and Daniele Gatti on an extensive repertoire. For two seasons he worked in Bayreuth as musical assistant to Kirill Petrenko for Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Operas conducted for the ROH include Massenet's
Le Portrait de Manon (recorded for Opera Rara), Julian Grant's Hot House, Julian Philips' How the Whale Became and scenes from Britten's Death in Venice. He made his debut at Opera North with La bohème and has conducted Don Giovanni and La Vie Parisienne for Iford Festival Opera. Other recent operatic work includes George Benjamin's Into the Little Hill and Berio's Recital I (Hamburg Symphony Orchestra), Julian Philips' Followers (Glyndebourne), David Bruce's The Firework-Maker's Daughter (The Opera Group), HK Gruber's Gloria von Jaxtberg (Bregenz Festival) and Porgy and Bess (Royal Danish Opera).

His recent concert work includes appearances with the Manchester Camerata, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He has recorded for NMC with the London Sinfonietta and for BBC Radio 3 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Highlights of the 2014/15 season included the world première of Søren Nils Eichberg's
Glare (The Royal Opera), two works in Birtwistle's 80th birthday concert (London Sinfonietta), and the world première of Birtwistle's new chamber opera The Cure in a double-bill with The Corridor (Aldeburgh/The Royal Opera).

His 2015/16 season includes multiple projects with the London Sinfonietta,
Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Glyndebourne on Tour, The Nutcracker with the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen and Aarhus and his debut at the Holland Festival with a revival of The Corridor and The Cure.