Jacksonville Symphony Conductors
Haskell Endowed Chair
With clear artistic vision, subtle musicality and innovative programming, Courtney Lewis has established himself as one of his generation’s most talented conductors. The 2019/20 season marks his fifth as music director of the Jacksonville Symphony.
In June 2018, the Kennedy Center and Washington Performing Arts announced that Lewis and the Jacksonville Symphony will be one of four orchestras invited to participate in 2020 SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras. SHIFT celebrates the vitality, identity and extraordinary artistry of orchestras and chamber orchestras by creating an immersive festival experience in the nation's capital. Last season Lewis led the Australian Youth Orchestra on tour, the Minnesota Opera in their returning production of Silent Night by composer Kevin Puts, conducted at the Aspen Music Festival and appeared with the San Diego Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic. In the 2019/20 season he makes his debut with Manchester’s Hallé and the WDR Funkhausorchester in Cologne.
An engaging orchestral conductor, award-winning pianist and passionate educator, Gonzalo Farias, has been recently appointed as the Associate Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony. Under the guidance of Courtney Lewis and the Jacksonville Symphony team, Gonzalo’s ambition is to establish music-making as a way of rethinking our place in society by cultivating respect, trust, and cooperation among all people in our community.
He served as the Assistant Conductor of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra under JoAnn Falletta’s leadership. Farias was in charge of an unusually high number of concerts per season covering the whole Hampton Roads area with over 70 concerts per year. The Virginia Gazzette noted that “with a lyrical, almost Zen-like quality, the amiable Farias established him as a focused, musical artist who knows what he wants and how to get it – with grace and style and substance.”
Assistant Conductor & JSYO Principal Conductor
Winston Family Endowed Chair
Deanna Tham is the Principal Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras, and is Assistant Conductor to the Jacksonville Symphony. Additionally, Tham is the Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Sinfonietta. She was previously the Music Director of the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Tham additionally regularly performs with the Boise Philharmonic and Ballet Idaho.
Tham most recently received a Professional Studies Certificate from the Cleveland Institute of Music in Orchestral Conducting studying with Maestro Carl Topilow. While there, she produced, programmed, and directed a revolutionary cross-sensual concert experience with the International Culinary Arts and Sciences Institute combining taste and sound. Tham was invited as a scholarship participant to the 2015 Conductors Guild Conductor/Composer Training Workshop at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where she worked with renown conductors Marin Alsop and James Ross.
Principal Pops Conductor
Calvin and Ellen Hudson Charitable Trust Endowed Chair
Known for his entertaining programs and clever humor, Michael Krajewski is “as effective and entertaining a communicator in music as he is in words” according to the Houston Chronicle. Besides his role as Principal Pops Conductor for the Jacksonville Symphony, he is Music Director of The Philly Pops and Principal Pops Conductor of the Houston and Atlanta Symphonies.
As a guest conductor, Krajewski has performed with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Boston and Cincinnati Pops and numerous other orchestras in the United State. His international appearances include Canada, Dublin and Belfast with the Ulster Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Spain’s Bilbao Symphony Orchestra.
Director, Jacksonville Symphony Chorus
Tom Zimmerman Endowed Chair
Hailed by the Washington Post for his “dazzling expertise” on the podium, Donald McCullough is considered one of America’s pre-eminent choral conductors. He became the Director of the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus in 2012. In November 2014 he led the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus on its first appearance in Carnegie Hall. Previously, he was the director of the Master Chorale of Washington in the John F. Kennedy Center Concert Hall for more than a decade, developing a reputation for creating choruses that sang “with an innate sense of lyricism and musical poise” and “sensitive, scrupulous and heartfelt” (Washington Post).
During his tenure with the Master Chorale, the 120-member symphonic chorus performed 16 world premieres, produced three nationally distributed CDs, and toured twice throughout Central Europe. The Chorale earned The Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence in North America.