Jonathon Heyward



‘A bright rising star of the conducting world’ – Sir Mark Elder



Jonathon Heyward is forging a career as one the most exciting conductors of his generation.


Grand Prix winner of the 2015 Besançon International Competition at the age of 23, Jonathon was recipient of the Dudamel Conducting Fellowship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in 2018. He made his debut with the orchestra for 3 major concerts at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles (soloist: Hilary Hahn) to great acclaim, as reviewed in the LA Times: “A steady 25-year-old hand leads the L.A. Phil and Hilary Hahn through a riveting Disney Hall concert”. Following the completion of a three-year tenure as Assistant Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in July 2019, Jonathon will become the designated Chief Conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, beginning in January 2021.


In Europe, this season has already seen Jonathon’s debut with the the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Staatskapelle Hallé, Wüttembergisches Kammerorchester, the Orchestre Symphonique de Saint-Étienne and Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa from Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, and in Asia, the Osaka Symphony Orchestra. Upcoming highlights include his debuts with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony and Brussels Philharmonic; extensive touring projects with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie and Flanders Symphony Orchestra, and projects with Het Gelders Orkest and Jenaer Philharmonie. 

In 2018, Jonathon conducted his first subscription series concert with the Hallé, and soloist Benjamin Grosvenor, at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. He has also directed the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille, the Orchestre National de Lorraine, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra for a production of Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars, as part of a Conducting Fellowship supported by the Kurt Weill Foundation. Further to this he has made acclaimed debuts with the Birmingham Opera Company, premiering Giorgio Battistelli’s new opera, Wake; with the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen for a tour in France; with the Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine, Orchestre National des Pays de Loire, and the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. 


Originally a cellist, Jonathon commenced his conducting studies at the Boston Conservatory in the class of Andrew Altenbach. He went on to occupy the position of Assistant Conductor for both their opera department and the Boston Opera Collaborative from 2012 to 2014, where he worked on productions including La Bohème, Zauberflöte and The Rape of Lucretia. Jonathon became the youngest ever semi- finalist at the Blue Danube International Opera Conducting Competition in 2013. From 2014 to 2016, he was Associate Director of the Hampstead Garden Opera Company in London, whilst furthering his education with postgraduate studies with Sian Edwards at the Royal Academy of Music, from which he graduated in June 2016.