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 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.
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. In the 2015/16 season he made his subscription debuts with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Milwaukee and Colorado symphonies, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra, return to the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, and assisted Thomas Adès at the Salzburg Festival for the world première of Adès’s opera The Exterminating Angel.
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.