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Jonathon Heyward


About this Artist

Jonathon Heyward is forging a career as one of the most exciting conductors on the international scene. He currently serves as Music Director Designate of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and will begin his five-year contract in the 2023/24 season. Heyward’s selection was unanimous from the Baltimore Symphony Music Director Search Committee, consisting of BSO musicians, staff, and community members.  

Heyward’s recent and forthcoming symphonic guest conducting highlights include debuts and re-invitations with the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, the Hallé in Manchester, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Heyward also debuted at the Grant Park and Mostly Mozart music festivals and with the Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, and St. Louis symphony orchestras. In the summer of 2023, Heyward debuts at the Hollywood Bowl and at the Ravinia Festival.  

Equally at home in opera, Heyward recently made his Royal Opera House debut with Hannah Kendall’s The Knife of Dawn, having also conducted 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, in a production by Graham Vick for the Birmingham Opera Company.  

Born in Charleston, SC, Heyward began his musical training as a cellist at the age of 10 and started conducting while still at school. He studied conducting at the Boston Conservatory of Music, where he became assistant conductor of the institution’s opera department and of the Boston Opera Collaborative, and he received postgraduate lessons from Sian Edwards at London’s Royal Academy of Music.  

Heyward’s commitment to education and community outreach work deepened during his tenure with the Hallé and has flourished since he became Chief Conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in January 2021. He is equally committed to including new music in his concert programs. Those qualities were evident in his Baltimore Symphony Orchestra debut bill, which comprised Hannah Kendall’s The Spark Catchers, Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto, and the first-ever BSO outing for Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 15.