Norwalk Symphony Orchestra

Our Music Director: Jonathan Yates

August 15, 2011adminFeaturedComments Off

Jonathan Yates is the seventh Music Director of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra in its seventy-two year history.


 He has earned high praise as a conductor, solo pianist and collaborative artist for his musicianship, intellect and the remarkable variety of his musical endeavors. He made his professional orchestral conducting debut at 23, leading  the National Symphony Orchestra in a Millennium Stages Concert. The following year he made his Carnegie Hall debut as a pianist in the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Workshop. He recently made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut as the  Music Director of the Norwalk Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Jonathan serves as the founding Music Director of Camerata Notturna, one of New York City’s most exciting young chamber orchestras. In that capacity, he has collaborated with some of the country’s most respected musicians, including Kim Kashkashian, David Finckel, Colin Carr, Gilbert Kalish and William Purvis, and given local and regional premieres of preeminent composers including Augusta Read Thomas, Huang Ruo, Zhou Long, Chester Biscardi, and Chen Yi. Indeed, as an ardent devotee of the music of our time, he has conducted new music concerts with the  Argento Chamber Ensemble and the Knights, and was the recipient of an ASCAP award for adventurous programming. Last season he, the clarinetist Charles Neidich, and Camerata Notturna presented a 102nd birthday tribute to Elliot Carter that featured the New York premiere of Mr. Carter’s Sound Fields, with the composer in attendance. Under the guidance of Yo-Yo Ma, he was also a participant in the Silk Road Ensemble’s Tanglewood Workshops. Highlights of Jonathan’s ample operatic experience have included leading the world premiere of Michael Webster’s opera Hell at Performance Space 122, as well as conducting Orfeo ed Euridice and Paride ed Elena of Gluck at the California Music Festival.

He has been heard as a chamber musician at the 92nd Street Y, Miller Theater, Bargemusic and Merkin Hall, as well as at the Caramoor Festival and on the Ravinia Festival Rising Stars Series. He has performed as a concerto soloist with orchestras in North America, Europe and Asia, and has given solo recitals for the La Jolla Music Society, at the National Museum of American History (on fortepiano), and on the University of Chicago Concert Series. He served as Apprentice Conductor of the Chicago Youth Symphony, and for two years as Music Director of the Harvard University Bach Society Orchestra. As a past and founding member of the Amelia Piano Trio, he was presented by Isaac Stern in Weill Recital Hall and at Hill Auditorium at the University of Michigan, and was a finalist for the Walter F. Naumburg Chamber Music Prize.

Jonathan received his Graduate Diploma in conducting from the Juilliard School, where he studied with James DePreist and Otto-Werner Mueller, and was the holder of the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship. He received his Master of  music from State University of New York, where he worked with Gilbert Kalish, and his Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University, where he studied with Robert Levin. He currently serves on the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College, where he conducts the orchestra and teaches Italian, French and German Vocal Diction.

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