Former Musical Director - Jonathan Lo (2012-2020)

‘Conductor Jonathan Lo, the presiding eminence behind the whole enterprise, is obviously well- acquainted with the bel canto style, always in control and undoubtedly destined for great things. ’

Hong Kong-born Briton Jonathan Lo is Music Director of Northern Ballet, Principal Guest Conductor of the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra (China), Principal Conductor of the New Bristol Sinfonia, Haffner Orchestra, and Music Director of the Manchester Chamber Choir. As a member of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House, he is on the conducting staff for The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden. In addition, Jonathan maintains his passion for working with young musicians through his work as Music Director of the King’s College London Symphony Orchestra. He was Senior Lecturer in conducting at Leeds College of Music and continues to teach privately.


Born in 1987, Jonathan read music at the University of Oxford, before going on to study conducting at Royal Northern College of Music on a major scholarship, graduating with distinction and winning the Mortimer Furber Prize in conducting contemporary music. Jonathan was appointed to his first music directorship aged 18 with the Oxford University Philharmonia after winning the University’s conducting competition. Since then, Jonathan has conducted orchestras internationally and nationally, most notably the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Ballet Sinfonia, London Sinfonietta, Manchester Camerata, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Gabrieli Consort, Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, Het Balletorkest and Orquestra do Algarve. He has studied and/or worked with conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Sir Antonio Pappano, Ed Gardner, Barry Wordsworth, Nicholas Kraemer & Paul McCreesh.

Increasingly sought after by ballet comapnies around the world, Jonathan made his Royal Opera House main stage debut with the Royal Ballet with Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour and Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern, which was broadcast live to cinemas around the world, and was immediately invited to return in the following season. This followed his debut with the company, conducting the first Royal Ballet performance in the refurbished Linbury Theatre with the London Sinfonietta in New Work, New Music. Jonathan was appointed Music Director of Northern Ballet after making his debut as guest music director for Cathy Marston’s Victoria. A BBC Performing Arts Fellow in 2015 with Birmingham Royal Ballet and Rambert Dance Company, he has since been invited to guest conduct for both companies regularly, as well as Dutch National Ballet and Scottish Ballet in works ranging from Cinderella(Bintley, Hampton), Nutcracker (Wright, Eagling & Van Schayk), La Fille mal Gardee (Ashton), Highland Fling (Matthew Bourne) to Transfigured Night (Kim Brandstrup), Ghost Dances (Christopher Bruce) and The 3 Dancers (Diddy Veldman).


As Music Director of the Manchester Chamber Choir, Jonathan has worked as chorus master for the BBC Philharmonic both at the BBC Proms and in the recording studio. In addition to the choir’s series of concerts, Jonathan also conducts them regularly for broadcasts on BBC Radios. Future highlights include taking the role of Staff Conductor created for him by the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden from the 2020/21 season, where he will conduct The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet, and the world premiere of Geisha by Alexandra Harwood for Northern Ballet. 

February 2020

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