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One of the most exciting conductors of his generation, Jonathon Heyward becomes assistant conductor of the Hallé Orchestra from 2016-17. The two-year appointment involves assisting music director Sir Mark Elder and other visiting artists, acting as music director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra and conducting concerts with the Hallé.
In 2015, Heyward won the 54th International Competition for Young Conductors in Besançon, winning the Grand Prize. Concertclassic.com praised the conductor, claiming “Jonathon Heyward embraces music with the enthusiasm and vigor of a twenty three year old. With sweeping but precise gestures, The Chairman Dances swung in an irresistible and colourful way.”
In upcoming seasons the young American conducts the Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine; St. Petersburg, Basel and Prague symphony orchestras; Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen and Philharmonie Zuidnederland.
Originally a cellist, Heyward commenced his conducting studies at The Boston Conservatory in the class of Andrew Altenbach. Between 2012 and 2014, he occupied the position of assistant conductor for the conservatory’s opera department. During his time there, he worked on various productions including La bohème, The Magic Flute and The Rape of Lucretia. In 2013, he became the youngest ever semi-finalist at the Blue Danube International Opera Conducting Competition, where he was acclaimed for being “a fresh new talent, with exceptional musicianship.”
Heyward is a Julius Rudel/Kurt Weill conducting fellow and serves as LACO’s Lift Every Voice assistant conductor.