Inaugural Season with Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director Jonathon Heyward
Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director Jonathon Heyward ushers
in next chapter for Lincoln Center’s summer orchestra
Commissions and timeless classics alongside new collaborations with the
New York Philharmonic, New York City Public Schools, Jameel Arts
and Health Lab and the World Health Organization
Spotlight on technology and music with Augmented Reality (AR) exhibit
on Schumann, Bach, and mental health; and North American
premiere of City of Floating Sounds by Huang Ruo
NEW YORK, NY (February 5, 2024) – Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts today announced the inaugural season under Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director Jonathon Heyward with Lincoln Center’s beloved summer orchestra, the newly named Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center. The full roster of Orchestra musicians follows after the program listings.
Presented as part of Lincoln Center’s third annual Summer for the City, the Orchestra’s season builds upon its legacy of exceptional music-making and dedication to welcoming new audiences into classical music with accessible and engaging concerts featuring exciting premieres and commissions paired with timeless classics.
Past meets present with pieces by Beethoven, Bologne, and Mozart performed alongside contemporary works by Louis W. Ballard, Peter Lieberson, Caroline Shaw, and a Lincoln Center and Musikkollegium Winterthur co-commission and world premiere by Hannah Kendall. The season also highlights the intersections of music and technology with an immersive AR exhibit on Schumann, Bach, and mental health in David Geffen Hall, and the North American premiere of Huang Ruo’s new City of Floating Sounds, co-commissioned by Factory International and Lincoln Center.
Core to the Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center’s mission is expanding audiences for classical music—through repertoire, educational initiatives, and affordable ticketing options. All performances will be Choose-What-You-Pay, starting at $5.
“I believe strongly in respecting the traditions of classical music while reimagining the future, and this first season embodies that,” said Jonathon Heyward, Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director of the Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center. “This Orchestra’s history is one I admire greatly, both from the perspective of its place in the hearts of so many New Yorkers who have found classical music through its summer performances and the incredible joy, care, and skill the musicians bring to the stage. Collaborating with them the past two summers has been thrilling and I know this summer will be even more so. I am grateful to these phenomenal musicians and the audiences we’re so looking forward to welcoming this summer.”
One of the most exciting conductors on the national and international scene, Heyward currently serves as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and is in his third year as Chief Conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford, Germany. His commitment to education, community outreach, and the unifying power of classical music is the driving force behind his work. He made his Lincoln Center debut in August 2022 during the inaugural Summer for the City festival and made his New York Philharmonic debut in April 2023.
About the Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center’s Summer 2024 Season:
The official opening concerts feature Heyward leading the Orchestra in the North American premiere of Huang Ruo’s City of Floating Sounds, a piece that expands the boundaries of orchestral music far beyond the walls of the concert hall. The interactive work fuses music and technology, beginning with a mobile app-enabled soundscape in several locations across the city that incorporate evolving musical fragments which illuminate the surrounding environment. The piece develops as participants gather towards Lincoln Center, culminating with a live performance as the audience is welcomed inside David Geffen Hall. The premiere is paired with Beethoven's “Pastoral” Symphony No. 6, inspired by the composer’s profound appreciation for nature and the countryside.
To close out the season, Heyward conducts a pair of concerts during the final weekend of Summer for the City that shine a light on the transformative power of music and connection to mental health. The concerts are presented with the Jameel Arts and Health Lab in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO recently designated loneliness and social isolation as a public health crisis—a concern that is artistically centered with this program. The concerts will include the world premiere of He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing by celebrated British-Guyanese composer Hannah Kendall, co-commissioned by Lincoln Center and Musikkollegium Winterthur. Anchoring the program is Symphony No. 2 by Schumann—a composer who famously used music to navigate his mental health challenges—performed as part of Heyward’s multi-summer exploration of Schumann’s four symphonies. Alongside the Symphony will be Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in A Major and Webern’s orchestration of Bach’s The Musical Offering.
Throughout the season, with the Jameel Arts and Health Lab in collaboration with the World Health Organization, an immersive Augmented Reality (AR) installation about Schumann will be on display throughout David Geffen Hall, spotlighting how he relied on the music of Bach during the period of hospitalization prior to his death. The virtual experience allows participants to learn about both composers and their backgrounds, with opportunities to explore musical offerings by Bach as well as a work Schumann composed during his hospitalization. The exhibit also includes an interactive station, giving participants the chance to virtually share a piece of art that has been a source of uplift.
A special “crowd-composed concert”, Symphony of Choice, previews the season on July 20, inviting audience members to co-create the evening’s program. Participants can vote, choosing from a menu of repertoire from the summer season, to collectively construct a unique “new symphony” conducted by Heyward.
Heyward and the Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center welcome a host of exciting guest soloists throughout the summer including frequent Metropolitan Opera star mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges; soprano Sonya Headlam fresh off her New York Philharmonic debut; New York Philharmonic and Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center oboist Ryan Roberts; violinist Benjamin Beilman (Avery Fisher Career Grant 2012), featured soloist in The Avery Fisher Legacy Concert and a frequent performer with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; and closing with Lincoln Center and New York Philharmonic favorite Conrad Tao.
The Orchestra also welcomes three dynamic guest conductors—Carlos Miguel Prieto, music director of the North Carolina Symphony; Jeannette Sorrell of Apollo’s Fire; and Kazem Abdullah, whose most recent Lincoln Center credit saw him conducting the critically acclaimed X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X at the Metropolitan Opera.
As part of Heyward’s commitment to education, the Orchestra is embarking on a path to embed itself more deeply into the fabric of the city, through initiatives that are paving the way for the next generation of composers and musicians. A new collaboration with the New York Philharmonic launches in 2024, through their Very Young Composers (VYC) program, as two VYC students will be given the opportunity to workshop their own compositions with the Orchestra. In addition, there will be a new initiative with the New York City Public Schools’ Summer Arts Institute (SAI). Musicians from the Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center will work with students through coachings and sectionals, and SAI students will attend Orchestra rehearsals and engage in talk-backs.
“We’re thrilled to embark on this next chapter as the Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center,” said Laura Frautschi, Violinist, Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center & Orchestra Committee Member. “We believe the future is bright with Jonathon Heyward at the helm and are grateful for his vision and leadership. Along with my orchestra colleagues, I look forward to this season of exciting new works, repertoire classics, and education collaborations. See you this summer!”
A special focus for this chapter of the Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center is providing new entry points to the unparalleled classical music and artistry happening across campus year-round. Several programs include distinct connections to Lincoln Center’s resident organizations—including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 as a prelude to The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s monumental upcoming feat performing the complete Beethoven Quartet Cycle; Stravinsky’s Pulcinella as an introduction to the upcoming Joffrey Ballet exhibit at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; and the overture to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro as a tribute to the Metropolitan Opera repertory favorite.
“I feel such gratitude to Jonathon and these musicians for their inspiring artistry and passion for this Orchestra,” said Shanta Thake, Ehrenkranz Chief Artistic Officer of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. “I look forward to this next chapter together.”
More details about the third annual Summer for the City will be announced in the coming months.
Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center
Summer 2024 Season, Chronological Listing
Symphony of Choice
A Crowd-Composed Concert
Saturday, July 20 at 7:30pm
Jonathon Heyward, conductor
Tuesday, July 23 at 7:30pm
Wednesday, July 24 at 7:30pm
Jonathon Heyward, conductor
Huang Ruo City of Floating Sounds (North American Premiere)
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 6 (“Pastoral”)
The Avery Fisher Legacy Concert
Friday, July 26 at 7:30pm
Saturday, July 27 at 7:30pm
Kazem Abdullah, conductor
Benjamin Beilman (Career Grant 2012), violin
Johannes Brahms Violin Concerto in D major
Louis W. Ballard Incident at Wounded Knee
Igor Stravinsky Pulcinella
Tuesday, July 30 at 7:30pm
Wednesday, July 31 at 7:30pm
Carlos Miguel Prieto, conductor
J’Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano
Joseph Haydn Symphony No. 49 (“The Passion”)
Peter Lieberson Neruda Songs
Alberto Ginastera Variaciones concertantes
Friday, August 2 at 7:30pm
Saturday, August 3 at 7:30pm
Jeannette Sorrell, conductor
Sonya Headlam, soprano
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Overture to The Marriage of Figaro
Joseph Bologne Aria from L’Amant anonyme
W. A. Mozart “Exsultate, jubilate”
J. Bologne Sinfonia concertante in G, No. 2
W. A. Mozart Ballet Music from Idomeneo
W. A. Mozart Symphony No. 35 (“Haffner”)
Tuesday, August 6 at 7:30pm
Wednesday, August 7 at 7:30pm
Jonathon Heyward, conductor
Ryan Roberts, oboe
Caroline Shaw Entr'acte
Ralph Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto in A minor
Felix Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4 (“Italian”)
Marianna Martines Symphony in C major
Friday, August 9 at 7:30pm
Saturday, August 10 at 7:30pm
Jonathon Heyward, conductor
Conrad Tao, piano
Hannah Kendall He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing (World Premiere)
Robert Schumann Symphony No. 2
Johann Sebastian Bach Keyboard Concerto in A Major
J. S. Bach (orch. Anton Webern) Ricercar a 6 from The Musical Offering
Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center
The Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center is a chamber orchestra that comes together each summer to celebrate and share the beauty of classical music. The ensemble, formerly the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, is comprised of world class musicians who perform year-round as soloists, chamber musicians, and in other ensembles across Lincoln Center's campus and around the globe:
*Denotes Lincoln Center constituent
Ruggero Allifranchini (Concertmaster), member since 2012
Laura Frautschi (Principal Second), member since 2010; Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Martin Agee, member since 1988; American Composers Orchestra; The New York Pops; Westchester Philharmonic
Robert Chausow, member since 1982; New York City Ballet Orchestra*; Westchester Philharmonic
Lilit Gampel, member since 2004; American Ballet Theatre Orchestra; The Little Orchestra Society
Michael Gillette, member since 1984; American Ballet Theatre Orchestra; The Little Orchestra Society
Suzanne Gilman, member since 2007; Orchestra LUMOS
Amy Kauffman, member since 2006; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra*
Sophia Kessinger, member since 2006; American Symphony Orchestra
Katherine Livolsi-Landau, member since 2004; American Symphony Orchestra; The New York Pops, Queens Symphony Orchestra
Kayla Moffett, member since 2018; Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra
Maureen Nelson, member since 2018; River Oaks Chamber Orchestra
Ronald Oakland, member since 1999
Michael Roth, member since 2001; New York City Ballet Orchestra*; The New York Pops; Westchester Philharmonic
Deborah Wong, member since 1999; American Ballet Theatre Orchestra; American Composers Orchestra; Westchester Philharmonic
Mineko Yajima, member since 2004; Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Shmuel Katz (Principal), member since 2007; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra*; American Ballet Theatre Orchestra; Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Chihiro Allen, member since 2010; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra*; New York City Ballet Orchestra*
Meena Bhasin, member since 2011; Decoda; San Francisco Contemporary Music Players
Danielle Farina, member since 2010; American Ballet Theatre Orchestra; Cape Symphony
Elzbieta Weyman, member since 2017; American Ballet Theatre Orchestra; New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Ilya Finkelshteyn (Principal), member since 2004; Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Ted Ackerman, member since 1994; New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Ann Kim, member since 2004
Alvin McCall, member since 1986; St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Jeffrey Turner (Principal), member since 2018
Blake Hinson, member since 2023; Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center*, New York Philharmonic*
Lou Kosma, member since 2011
Jasmine Choi (Principal), member since 2010
Tanya Dusevic Witek, member since 2011; New York City Ballet Orchestra*; American Ballet Theatre Orchestra
Ryan Roberts (Principal), member since 2023; New York Philharmonic*
Nick Masterson, member since 2014; Metropolis Ensemble, Philadelphia Ballet Orchestra
Jon Manasse (Principal), member since 2004; The Juilliard School faculty member*; American Ballet Theatre Orchestra; Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Christopher Pell, member since 2018; Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Marc Goldberg (Principal), member since 2005; Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center*; The Juilliard School faculty member*; American Ballet Theatre Orchestra; American Symphony Orchestra; New York Woodwind Quintet; Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Tom Sefčovic, member since 2011; The New York Pops; Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Lawrence DiBello (Principal), member since 2006; American Ballet Theatre Orchestra; American Symphony Orchestra; The New York Pops; Westchester Philharmonic
Richard Hagen, member since 1987; New York City Ballet Orchestra*
Neil Balm (Principal), member since 1984; New York City Ballet Orchestra; American Composers Orchestra; The New York Pops; Queens Symphony Orchestra
Raymond Riccomini, member since 2019; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra*
David Punto, member since 1993
Nishana Dobbeck, member since 2024; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra*
Gemini Music Productions, Ltd.
About Jonathon Heyward
Jonathon Heyward is forging a career as one of the most exciting conductors on the international scene. He currently serves as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, having made his debut with BSO in March 2022 in three performances that included the first-ever performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 15. From summer 2024, Jonathon will become Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director of the Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center. This appointment follows a highly acclaimed Lincoln Center debut with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra in summer 2022, as part of their Summer for the City festival.
Currently in his fourth year as Chief Conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, in summer 2021, Jonathon took part in an intense, two-week residency with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain which led to a highly acclaimed BBC Proms debut. According to The Guardian, Jonathon delivered “a fast and fearless performance of Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, in which loud chords exploded, repeating like fireworks in the hall’s dome, and the quietest passages barely registered. It was exuberant, exhilarating stuff.”
Jonathon’s recent and future guest conducting highlights in the United Kingdom include debuts and re-invitations with the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, The Hallé in Manchester, National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin, and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. In continental Europe, amongst Jonathon’s recent and forthcoming debuts are collaborations with the Castilla y León Symphony, Galicia Symphony, Danish National Symphony, Basel Symphony, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Brussels Philharmonic, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Hamburg Symphony and MDR-Leipzig Symphony.
In 2021, Jonathon made his Wolf Trap debut conducting the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC, and in 2023 he made his debut with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival. Further significant highlights in the United States include collaborations with the New York Philharmonic; the Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Seattle, and St Louis symphonies; and the Minnesota Orchestra.
Equally at home on the opera stage, Jonathon recently made his Royal Opera House debut with Hannah Kendall’s Knife of Dawn, having also conducted a Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, as well as the world premiere of Giorgio Battistelli’s new opera, Wake, in a production by Graham Vick for the Birmingham Opera Company.
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Jonathon began his musical training as a cellist at the age of ten and started conducting while still at school. He studied conducting at the Boston Conservatory of Music, where he became assistant conductor of the prestigious institution’s opera department and of the Boston Opera Collaborative, and he received postgraduate lessons from Sian Edwards at London’s Royal Academy of Music. Before leaving the Academy, he was appointed assistant conductor of the Hallé Orchestra, where he was mentored by Sir Mark Elder, and became Music Director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra. In 2023, he was named a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music; an honour reserved for Academy alumni.
Jonathon’s commitment to education and community outreach work deepened during his three years with the Hallé and has flourished since he arrived in post as Chief Conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in January 2021. He is equally committed to including new music within his imaginative concert programs.
About Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) is a cultural and civic cornerstone of New York City. The primary advocate for the entire Lincoln Center campus, our strategic priorities include: fostering collaboration and deepening impact across the Lincoln Center resident organizations; championing inclusion and increasing the accessibility and reach of Lincoln Center’s work; and nurturing innovation on stage and off to help ensure the arts are at the center of civic life for all. LCPA presents hundreds of programs each year, offered primarily for free and choose-what-you-pay, including many specially designed for young audiences, families, and those with disabilities.
Lead support for the Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center is provided by
Renée and Robert Belfer
Additional support is provided by Barbara H. Block
Endowment support is provided by the Leon Levy Foundation
Lead support for Choose-What-You-Pay is provided by the Family of Robert Wood Johnson III
Additional support is provided by the PNC Foundation
Lead Support for Summer for the City Community Programming is provided by Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)
Major support for Lincoln Center Presents and Summer for the City is provided by the Shubert Foundation and the Howard Gilman Foundation
Major corporate support is provided by CHANEL
Endowment support is provided by the Blavatnik Family Foundation Fund for Dance, The Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Foundation, Oak Foundation, PepsiCo Foundation, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Lincoln Center’s artistic excellence is made possible by the dedication and generosity of our board members
Operation of Lincoln Center’s public plazas is supported in part with public funds provided by the City of New York
Programs are made possible, in part, with public funds provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Empire State Development, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor, Mayor of the City of New York, the New York State Legislature and the New York City Council
NewYork-Presbyterian is the Official Hospital of Lincoln Center
United is the Preferred Airline of Lincoln Center Presents
Steinway & Sons is the Preferred Piano Partner of Lincoln Center
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