Jonathan Girard

Jonathan GirardAmerican-born conductor Jonathan Girard is one of the rising stars of his generation. A passionate musician committed to engaging audiences with thrilling performances, he enjoys a reputation as a musical force equally versed in symphonic repertoire, opera, and new music.

As the Director of Orchestras at the University of British Columbia School of Music, Girard dedicates himself to raising the standard of orchestral training in Western Canada. The 2016-2017 season is full of majesty (Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition) unusual pairings (Saariaho’s Asteroid 4179 and Holst’s Planets) and incomparable favourites (Mozart’s Requiem and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2). Highlights of recent seasons include the ninth symphonies of Beethoven, Schubert, and Shostakovich, two performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with 300 musicians onstage, and a landmark performance of Le Sacre du printemps that marked the 100th anniversary of the work’s première.

In the summer of 2015, Girard made his European operatic conducting debut with the European Music Academy leading the North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of Le nozze di Figaro in opera houses across the Czech Republic. He also serves as the assistant conductor for the Vancouver Symphony Whistler Institute Orchestra. He was the assistant conductor of the Ohio Light Opera from 2012-2014. Mr. Girard served as cover conductor for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (NY) in 2012.

A champion of new music, Girard is in the midst of a two-year recording project for the Centrediscs label recording concerti by British Columbia composers. In May 2015, he premièred Stephen Chatman’s new opera, Choir Practice, released by Centrediscs in May 2016. Girard has conducted world premières of works by Ricardo Zohn Muldoon, Elizabeth Kelly, JungSun Kang, and John Liberatore, among others. He conducted the North American premières of NONcerto for Trumpet and Orchestra by Richard Ayres, Saturnalia and Endre és Johanna by Emmerich Kálmán, and Sequentia by Arvo Pärt.

Jonathan Girard was the Visiting Artist Conductor at the University of Northern Iowa School of Music in 2010-2011 and has held positions as the music director of the New Eastman Outreach Orchestra and Waltham Philharmonic (MA), associate conductor of the Brockton Symphony Orchestra (MA), principal guest conductor of the Boston Orpheus Ensemble and assistant conductor of the Portland (ME) Opera Repertory Theatre. At the Eastman School of Music, he studied conducting with Neil Varon and was the assistant conductor of the Eastman Symphony Orchestra, the Eastman Philharmonia, and the Eastman Opera Theatre.

2017 will be Girard’s first summer with the Festival.