The sensational conductor Jonathon Heyward has made his Scottish Debut with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, leading the Myths & Legends programme on 9 December (Edinburgh), 10 December (Glasgow) and 11 December (Aberdeen). The concerts featured Ravel’s Ma Mère L’Oye (Mother Goose): 5 pièces enfantines and Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn.
Scottish Chamber Orchestra writes:
From Sleeping Beauty and Tom Thumb to ghostly lovers and St Anthony preaching to the fish, conductor Jonathon Heyward unveils a magical world of musical fairy tales, myths and legends in two iconic works of wonder and delight. Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite recounts fantastical fables in some of the composer’s most exquisite music, while Mahler mined German folklore for earthy humour and swashbuckling heroism in his larger-than-life Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Joined by two of today’s most accomplished singers, Heyward weaves together the movements of the two works, creating a glittering storybook of musical fantasy.
Given 5 stars by The Scotsman, David Kettle praised: “…an evening full of surprises and delights … young US conductor Jonathan 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. ”
Seen & Heard International also report: ““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.”
Jonathon Heyward is forging a career as one of the most exciting conductors on the international scene. Currently in his first 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.”
Jonathon’s recent and forthcoming symphonic guest conducting highlights in the United Kingdom include debuts and re-invitations with the London Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Symphony and BBC Scottish Symphony. In continental Europe, amongst Jonathon’s recent and future debuts are collaborations with the Basel Symphony, Musikkolegium Winterthur and Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne in Switzerland; Brussels Philharmonic, SymfonieOrkest Vlaanderen and Antwerp Symphony in Belgium; Philharmonie Zuidnederland in the Netherlands; Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine in France; Lahti Symphony in Finland; Kristiansand Symphony in Norway and St. Petersburg Symphony in Russia.
In his native United States in the current and upcoming concert seasons, Jonathon looks forward to making debuts with the Baltimore, Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, San Diego, St. Louis and Oregon Symphony Orchestras and with the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Following successful collaborations of past seasons, in 2022 Jonathon returns to Seattle Symphony and Grant Park Music Festival. In summer 2021, Jonathon made his Wolf Trap debut conducting the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC.