Chief Conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie
Jonathon Heyward is forging a career as one of the most exciting young conductors on the international scene. Winner of the 2015 Besançon International Conducting Competition, Jonathon was selected as a Los Angeles Philharmonic Dudamel Conducting Fellow for the 2017-2018 season, later stepping in to make his subscription debut with Hilary Hahn as part of the orchestra’s Bernstein @ 100 Celebration at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The LA Times declared that he had “forged a seamless connection among the music, the orchestra, and the audience” and that “his concert augurs great things to come”.
Currently in his first year as a Chief Conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, Jonathon recently completed three years as Assistant Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra, conducting his first subscription concert with Benjamin Grosvenor in 2018. Other notable moments with the ensemble include: a 200th birthday concert for the orchestra’s founder Sir Charles Hallé; a finalist nomination for Young Creative of the Year at the Manchester Culture Awards 2018, in recognition of his extensive community outreach work and commitment to music education as Music Director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra; and a “roaringly bold account” (Bachtrack) of Shostakovich’s thrilling Leningrad Symphony, marking Jonathon’s debut at the Manchester International Festival and culmination of his tenure in Manchester.Read more
Hailed by Sir Mark Elder as “a bright rising star of the conducting world”, Jonathon looks forward to a remarkable summer as he makes number of exciting debuts amongst which are BBC Proms debut with Nicola Benedetti and the musicians of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain; the Antwerp Symphony debut conducting the laureates of the Queen Elisabeth 2021 Piano Competition at the Koningin Elisabethzaal in Antwerp. This summer, forthcoming is also Jonathon’s Wolf Trap debut conducting the National Symphony Orchestra.
Jonathon’s recent and forthcoming highlights include debut and re-invitations with the London Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and BBC Symphony in the UK; Baltimore, Atlanta, Detroit, Seattle, Oregon Symphony and Grant Park Music Festival in the United States; Castilla y León, Basel, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Brussels Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lille, St Petersburg Symphony and Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne across Europe.
Equally at home on the opera stage, Jonathon recently made his Royal Opera House debut with Hannah Kendall’s Knife of Dawn, having also conducted a Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra as well as the world premiere of Giorgio Battistelli’s new opera, Wake, for the Birmingham Opera Company.
Originally trained as a cellist and chamber musician, Jonathon went on to take up the position of Assistant Conductor for both their opera department and the Boston Opera Collaborative, where he worked on such productions as La Bohème, Die Zauberflöte, and The Rape of Lucretia. In 2013, Jonathon became the youngest ever semi-finalist at the Blue Danube International Opera Conducting Competition at the age of 21, and, soon after, was appointed Associate Director of the Hampstead Garden Opera Company in London. In 2016, he completed his postgraduate studies in conducting with Sian Edwards at the Royal Academy of Music, and in 2020, was named an Associate of the Royal Academy as well as a Sir Georg Solti Fellow.
“Heyward forged a seamless connection among the music, the orchestra and the audience.
“[Heyward] knew when to lead and when to follow, effortlessly balancing his roles as a natural showman and sensitive collaborator in service to the music.”
“Heyward demonstrated a level of confidence and musical intelligence that belied his youth.
“At the same time, Heyward tirelessly shaped the sound, encouraging subtle refinements and using expressive gestures to blend and adjust the mix. He understood that Holst’s dazzling score isn’t just about the brassy climaxes — wonderfully prepared for here — but also homed in on its varieties of mystery and awe.
“A wealth of meaning without artifice, as spoken by a truly gifted artist.”
“Throughout the entire performance Jonathon Heywood conducted himself with notable discipline, switching from tiny hand movements to large expression of his upper body like it was second nature to him”
“On the podium, Jonathon Heyward, assistant conductor at the Hallé, made his own mark. He drew poised playing from the Chineke! musicians, first in Elgar’s Serenade for Strings and then in Mozart’s Symphony No 29 in A, the irrepressible bounce of its finale’s dotted rhythms every bit as spirited as the composer intended.”
The BBC Proms are back! The world’s biggest classical music festival features six weeks of live music from 30 July through 11 September. The 52 concerts will be performed in front of live audiences, and be broadcast on BBC TV and radio channels, BBC Sounds and...
Watch: “Bright Rising Star” Conductor Jonathon Heyward Returns to Seattle Symphony & Makes San Antonio Symphony Debut
2020 Royal Philharmonic Society Conductor of the Year nominee, Jonathon Heyward, returns to the US for two thrilling engagements. On 25 February, he once again takes to the Seattle Symphony podium to give the US premier of Hannah Kendall’s Kanashibari. The programme...
Jonathon Heyward and Sheku Kanneh-Mason have been honoured with nominations for the 2020 RPS Awards. Heyward is on the shortlist for Conductor of the Year, and cellist Kanneh-Mason, who is managed in association with Enticott Music Management, is nominated for Young...