Jonathon Heyward


Chief Conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie


Jonathon Heyward is forging a career as one of the most exciting conductors on the international scene. Currently in his second year as a Chief Conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, in summer 2021, Jonathon took part in an intense, two- week residency with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain which led to a highly acclaimed BBC Proms debut. According to the Guardian Jonathon was “not too exhausted, though, to lead – from memory – a fast and fearless performance of Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, in which loud chords exploded, repeating like fireworks in the hall’s dome, and the quietest passages barely registered. It was exuberant, exhilarating stuff.”   In Colin’s Column Ateş Orga noted: “This Prom was about Jonathon Heyward, NYOGB and Beethoven. …Heyward’s a man of twenty-nine coolly heading for the stratosphere.”

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“… conductor Heyward is fascinating to watch. Without a baton, he sometimes signaled the orchestra in balletic gestures, sweeping his hands across long arcs or shaping phrases in circular motions, like a potter at the wheel. Elsewhere it looked as if he were holding invisible teacups in each hand, swinging them to keep the beat. It all worked … Heyward proved himself a sophisticated interpreter … He kept every detail in place, manicured and neatly articulated … Musically polished and compelling …”

Pierre Ruhe

ATL Arts, March 2022

“… young US conductor Jonathon Heyward stepped in at short notice and did a marvellously incisive job, all clipped rhythms and bristling precision, drawing vivid playing from the SCO musicians.”

David Kettle

The Scotsman, December 2021

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“Most interesting of all … was conductor Jonathon Heyward, making his SCO debut. His podium gestures are curt but clear, and he is very engaging to watch. More importantly, his line of musical argument was never less than convincing, often much more than that … The orchestra responded to him really well, pivoting on a knife edge with some of Mahler’s emotional contrasts, and suggesting that this is a relationship that might go somewhere. It has clearly got off to a good beginning. I would like to hear them together again.”

Seen and Heard International, December 2021

“… [Heyward] has a very solid technique and ability to study and assimilate that allow him to mark and anticipate everything and everyone with total security … excellent … appreciated by all …”, December 2021

“… fearless … exuberant, exhilarating stuff … an unforgettable showcase …”

The Guardian, August 2021

“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” 

Voice Mag, July 2019

“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.”

Memeteria, June 2019

“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 Guardian, April 2017

“Heyward forged a seamless connection among the music, the orchestra and the audience … [he] knew when to lead and when to follow, effortlessly balancing his roles as a natural showman and sensitive collaborator in service to the music.”

Los Angeles Times, December 2017

Featured News

Jonathon Heyward Makes Major US Debuts – March & April 2022

Jonathon Heyward kicks off his US tour on the East Coast with three concerts at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra this weekend on the 11, 12 and 13 March. Hannah Kendall’s The Spark Catchers opens the program, followed by a dramatic performance of Beethoven’s Third...