Courtney Lewis, Music Director, Conductor, 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 2016/17 season marks his second as Music Director of the Jacksonville Symphony. Previous appointments have included Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, where he returns on subscription in the 2016/17 season; Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, where he made his subscription debut in the 2011/12 season; and Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he debuted in 2011. From 2008 to 2014, Courtney Lewis was the music director of Boston’s acclaimed Discovery Ensemble, a chamber orchestra dedicated not only to giving concerts of contemporary and established repertoire at the highest level of musical and technical excellence, but also bringing live music into the least privileged parts of Boston with workshops in local schools.
In the 2016/17 season he will make his debut with the Dallas Symphony and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and return to the Colorado Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. Highlights of the 2015/16 included debuts with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, and Colorado Symphony, as well as assisting Thomas Adès at the Salzburg Festival for the world première of Adès’s opera The Exterminating Angel.
Lewis made his major American orchestral debut in November 2008 with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, and has since appeared with the Atlanta Symphony, Washington National Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Houston Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, and Ulster Orchestra, among others.
Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Lewis read music at the University of Cambridge during which time he studied composition with Robin Holloway and clarinet with Dame Thea King. After completing a master’s degree with a focus on the late music of György Ligeti, he attended the Royal Northern College of Music, where his teachers included Sir Mark Elder and Clark Rundell.