New Conductorships Signal Change in the Orchestral World

Baltimore Symphony CEO Mark Hanson is thrilled to have found Jonathon Heyward. “Once chemistry is discovered, things can happen very quickly. Jonathon made his BSO debut in March substituting in a program of Hannah Kendall’s The Spark Catchers, Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto with Benjamin Grosvenor, and Shostakovich’s 15th Symphony. Based on feedback, we quickly identified another concert in April to bring him back, a benefit concert for Ukraine, as an additional test for the initial chemistry.

“What we love about Jonathon is his deep musicianship, ability to inspire the orchestra and also the audience through how he leads, what he asks for from music colleagues, and how he communicates onstage and off with audience members young and old. And on top of the music, he brings a unique, inspiring personal story that we believe will be very powerful as we seek to draw in new audiences.

“We have a year-round OrchKids music program during and after school designed to create social change and nurture promising futures for youth in Baltimore City. There will be more than 2,000 Baltimore students who Jonathon will be able to tell about how a similar public school program in Charleston, South Carolina, changed his life, introducing him to the cello and allowing him an opportunity at 14 to conduct for the first time.”

Hanson adds that the BSO’s “place in the communities requires next-generation leadership that is representative of our country and our community, and we have found it in Jonathon as a 30-year-old rising conducting superstar who has a lived experience that can inspire.”

By Laurence Vittes

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