His conducting career was launched when he took up the Assistant Conductor position at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 2016-2018 under Mirga Grazynte-Tyla, where he conducted a wide range of repertoire, closing their 16/17 season at Symphony Hall, and reinvited in April 2021. A Summer concert with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie led to a recording project and then to subscription concerts in Bremen and at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. After taking over Rusalka rehearsals at the DSO Berlin for Robin Ticciati (whom he had assisted at Glyndebourne), he was invited back to conduct Holst’s The Planets in a multi-media project in 2021.
Other highlights of 20/21 have included his debuts with the Salzburg Mozarteumorchester (Mozart video), Residentie Orkest (with immediate reinvitation for a subscription week in 2022) and Hallé Orchestra (also reinvited), and education projects with the London Philharmonic and London Symphony orchestras, as well as a return to the London Mozart Players. 2021 also saw the release of his first CD – Strauss and Cesar Franck with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie (“irresistible” - Musicweb International). In 21/22 he is due to debut with the Munich Symphony, Luzern Symphony, Kammerakademie Potsdam, National Symphony (RTE), Britten Sinfonia and Estonian National.
Engagements just prior to the pandemic included the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Tapiola Sinfonietta and Manchester Camerata, and he had been due to debut with the Tokyo Symphony, Shanghai Symphony, Guangzhou Symphony and China National Philharmonic (in Beijing) – all being redated. In recent seasons he has also conducted the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Basque National Orchestra and RTE Chamber.
In 2019 Jonathan conducted two performances and assisted on Rigoletto for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, and as a result was invited back in 2021 to conduct his own production of Don Pasquale and for his Glyndebourne main Summer season debut, assisting Mazzola and conducting 4 sold-out performances of Luisa Miller. For the past 11 years Jonathan has been Artistic Director of the Northern Chords Festival based in his home-town of Newcastle upon Tyne but also performing further afield, notably during lock-down in January 2021 in a live studio concert broadcast on BBC Radio 3 from the Maida Vale studios. Passionate about unearthing little-known composers and championing new work, Jonathan has commissioned several premieres by young composers such as Vlad Maistorovici, Jack Sheen and Freya Waley Cohen.
Prior to taking up conducting he was a founder member and the cellist of the Busch Trio, performing regularly at the Wigmore Hall, Southbank and on BBC Radio 3; even now he still plays chamber music on occasion. He won several prestigious awards whilst studying at the Royal College of Music and made his concerto debut at the Berlin Philharmonie in 2012. He started his musical training at the age of 8 with a local cello teacher from the Gateshead Schools Music Service. He then studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School & Royal College of Music with Thomas Carroll before completing a Master’s degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Louise Hopkins. Jonathan has taken further conducting studies with Sian Edwards, Michael Seal, Nicolas Pasquet and Paavo Järvi.
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