Jonathon Heyward is forging a career as one of the most exciting conductors on the international scene. He is music director designate of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, beginning in the 2023–24 season, and chief conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie.
Highlights of Heyward’s recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements in the United Kingdom include the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Hallé in Manchester, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain at the BBC Proms. In continental Europe, recent and future debuts include collaborations with the Galicia Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Basel Symphony, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Brussels Philharmonic, Antwerp Symphony, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Hamburg Symphony, and MDR-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig. His most recent debuts in the United States include the Grant Park Music and Mostly Mozart Festivals and the Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras. In 2021 he made his Wolf Trap debut, conducting the National Symphony Orchestra (of Washington, DC). He will soon make debuts at the Hollywood Bowl and at the Ravinia Festival.
Heyward made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, leading Hannah Kendall’s Knife of Dawn, having conducted Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the world premiere of Giorgio Battistelli’s Wake in a production for the Birmingham Opera Company.
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Jonathon Heyward began cello lessons at age ten and started conducting while in school. He studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music, where he became assistant conductor of their opera department, and the Boston Opera Collaborative. He received postgraduate lessons from Sian Edwards at London’s Royal Academy of Music; before leaving the academy he was appointed assistant conductor of the Hallé Orchestra, where he was mentored by Mark Elder and became music director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra. Heyward’s commitment to education and community outreach work deepened during his three years with the Hallé and has flourished since he started as chief conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie. He is equally committed to including new music in his imaginative concert programs.
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