Virtuoso Profile

Jonathan Grieves-Smith
Voice, Conducting

Jonathan Grieves-Smith is Artistic Director of both Hallelujah Junction and Hamer Singers

About Me

Conductor Jonathan Grieves-Smith is internationally renowned for compelling performances and rigorous artistic leadership. He is Artistic Director of Hallelujah Junction, Australia’s professional choir, and of the Hamer Singers.

Jonathan has trained choirs for some of the world’s finest musicians, including Sir Simon Rattle, Stephen Layton, Mark Wigglesworth, Sir Andrew Davis, Manfred Honeck, Ed Gardner, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Klaus Tennstedt, Pierre Boulez, James Levine, Seiji Ozawa and Sir Roger Norrington.

He has worked extensively with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Academy of St Martin-in-the- Fields, Orchestre National de Lille, BBC Singers, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Antipodes, Cantillation, Sydney Chamber Choir, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, at Dartington International Summer School, Royal Academy of Music, Flemish Federation of Young Choirs, and Europa Cantat.

Jonathan has led three tours to Brazil, including with pianist Nelson Freire and the London Mozart Players, and performances of Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro with Rome’s Chorus of the Academy of St Cecilia.

Jonathan was Chorus Master of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus for seven years, and of its predecessor the Melbourne Chorale for more than nine years, leading them to international recognition in the concert hall, recording studio, and on tour in South America and South-East Asia. As well as conducting a cappella performances, Jonathan prepared the Chorus for concerts with leading conductors Markus Stenz, Jakob Hrusa, Neeme Järvi, Oleg Caetani, Maasaki Suzuki, Bernard Labadie, and Tadaaki Otaka. Prior to this Jonathan was Music Director of Brighton Festival Chorus, and Chorus Master of the Huddersfield Choral Society, and the Hallé Choir.

An outstanding conductor of the Baroque and Classical eras, he is also highly-regarded as a champion of new music, regularly commissioning and performing music by Brett Dean, James MacMillan, Hans Werner Henze, Sir John Tavener, Arvo Pärt, Eriks Esenvalds, Paul Stanhope, Gabriel Jackson, Iain Grandage, Giya Kancheli, Richard Mills, Alfred Schnittke, Lou Harrison, Ross Edwards, Krzysztof Penderecki and Peteris Vasks, and many more.

Jonathan has conducted the Australian premieres of many new works, including James MacMillan’s The Confession of Isobel Gowdie and Miserere, the first modern performances of Percy Grainger’s The Warriors with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and Charles Tournemire’s Symphony No.2 ‘Ouessant’ with the Orchestra National de Lille. With the Hallé Orchestra and soloists Bryn Terfel and Tasmin Little, he conducted Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast and the Elgar Violin Concerto, and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No.2 Lobgesang with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Brighton Festival.

During 2014 and 2015 Jonathan served as Director of Music at Trinity College, the University of Melbourne, which included numerous first performances and commissions, two national tours, and an acclaimed broadcast of Bach’s St John Passion.

Future plans include performances with Hallelujah Junction of David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion and ‘the national anthems’ at the Port Fairy Spring Festival, and of James MacMillan’s Stabat Mater, Eriks Esenvalds, Arvo Pärt and Veljo Tormis with the Hamer Singers, and Cecilia McDowall, Peter Sculthorpe, and Mary Finsterer with Sydney Chamber Choir.

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