Conductor Jonathan Grieves-Smith is internationally renowned for compelling performances and rigorous artistic leadership in concerts and recordings with leading choirs and orchestras, and for collaborations with the world’s leading conductors. He is Artistic Director of Australia’s professional choir, Hallelujah Junction, and of the Hamer Singers.
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 trained choirs for the world’s finest musicians, including Sir Simon Rattle, Stephen Layton, Pierre Boulez, Mark Wigglesworth, Sir Andrew Davis, Manfred Honeck, Ed Gardner, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Klaus Tennstedt, James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, and Sir Roger Norrington.
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, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, 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, many more.
Recent and future performances with Hallelujah Junction include David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion at the Port Fairy Spring Festival, of James MacMillan’s Stabat Mater, a staged J S Bach St John Passion, music by Jóhann Jóhannsson, the world premiere of the a cappella version of Gavin Bryars ‘Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet’, music by Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Arvo Pärt, Peteris Vasks, Cecilia McDowall, Dan Walker, Jaako Mäntyjärvi and Nicholas Champion.
Jonathan was Chorus Master of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus for seventeen 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 multiple a cappella performances of new and old music, Jonathan prepared the Chorus for concerts with leading conductors Jakub Hrusa, Neeme Järvi, Oleg Caetani, Maasaki Suzuki, Bernard Labadie, Markus Stenz, and Tadaaki Otaka. Prior to this Jonathan was Music Director of Brighton Festival Chorus, Chorus Master of the Huddersfield Choral Society, and of the Hallé Choir.
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.
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.
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 national broadcast of Bach’s St John Passion.
Jonathan Grieves-Smith has taken part in the following PCI events: