We are thrilled to announce that two superb conductors – Holly Mathieson and Jonathan Hargreaves – have come on board with us at the Nevis Ensemble to lead the Artistic Direction for 2018 and beyond. We’ll introduce Holly and Jon to you more personally in the coming months, but in the meantime, see below for a bit more information about both of them.
Jonathan Hargreaves is based in Glasgow and London, and specialises in contemporary music. He co-directs the Octandre Ensemble, and he is Musical Director of Online Orchestra, the London Medical Orchestra and South Birmingham Sinfonia. Highlights for 2016/17 include an appearance for the LSO Soundhub Scheme, a performance of Pierrot Lunaire with Octandre and the mezzo-soprano Lore Lixenberg, recording sessions with the Rogue Orchestra, and directing a course with the Grampian Youth Orchestra.
Jon founded the Octandre Ensemble with Christian Mason in 2011. Since then, the group has earned a strong reputation for performing new music, with a particular focus on exploring timbre and ritual. Jon has conducted the premieres of many works with Octandre. Of particular note, he conducted the first performance of Sinan Savaskan’s Many Stares (Module 30), which later won a BASCA National Composer’s Award. Recently, Jon conducted the group at St. John’s, Smith Square, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Hear and Now.
In summer 2015, Online Orchestra presented a real-time network performance in four locations separated by miles and on different land masses in West Cornwall. The project was based at Falmouth University and partnered by the Philharmonia Orchestra, with funding from AHRC. Following that pilot project, Jon has conducted for online schools workshops with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra players.
Jon became Musical Director of the London Medical Orchestra in 2015. The orchestra has a long history and previous conductors include Norman Del Mar CBE and Sir Colin Davis. Since Jon began in the role the orchestra has raised thousands of pounds for charity, in standing room-only performances. Jon has appeared as a guest conductor for the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, Glasgow’s Rogue Orchestra, and various other orchestras across the UK.
Holly Mathieson is currently Assistant Conductor at the RSNO (2016-18), Resident Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland Junior Orchestra and Artistic Director of Rata Music Collective, In the 17:18 season, guest engagements include concerts with the London Symphony, BBC Concert, Royal Philharmonic, City of Birmingham, Scottish Chamber and Salomon orchestras, London’s Southbank Sinfonia, Royal Northern Sinfonia’s Young Sinfonia, Red Note Ensemble, Scottish Ballet and the Royal College of Music Philharmonia Orchestra. Highlights of the 16:17 season included a commercial recording of works by John McLeod with Dame Evelyn Glennie and the RSNO; several education projects with the LSO, including a performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring at the Barbican; and her US debut with the Illinois Philharmonic.
In 14:15, Holly held one of the world’s most prestigious fellowships for young conductors, the Leverhulme Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She enjoyed a critically acclaimed London debut in 2015 as the Christine Collins Young Artist Conductor in Associate at Opera Holland Park, and in the last two seasons has had debuts with Southbank Sinfonia and the Auckland Philharmonia, and worked as assistant conductor with Opera North, Garsington Opera and Longborough Festival Opera.
In the past, she has assisted Esa-Pekka Salonen and Christoph von Dohnanyi at the Philharmonia Orchestra, Donald Runnicles at the BBCSSO, and Marin Alsop at the BBC Proms. 2013 saw success in being chosen as one of four young conductors from around the world to participate in the Interaktion Dirigentenwerkstatt des Kritischen Orchesters with players from the Berlin Philharmonic and other top-tiered German orchestras, and a place as one of Dartington International Summer School’s advanced conducting fellows. She was immediately reinvited to Dartington in 2014 as a guest conductor. In 2015 she was a finalist for the position of Assistant Conductor at Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
Awards for Holly’s work include a 2013 Professional Development Grant from Creative NZ, the 2012 AMP Regional Scholarship from Roost Mortgages, the 2009 Patronage Award from Adrienne, Lady Stewart and the NZ Arts Foundation, and the Elman Poole Travelling Scholarship (2006). Holly was named a Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellow in 2008. She was also given a high commendation in the 2013 Taki Concordia Fellowship. In 2016, Zonta NZ named her as one of New Zealand’s Top 50 Women of Achievement.
Holly holds a PhD in Music Iconography, entitled “Embodying Music: The Visuality of Three Iconic Conductors in London, 1840-1940” and a MusBHons(1st class) in composition and analyisis from Otago University, and an MMus in orchestral conducting from the University of Melbourne Conservatorium. She has published papers in Music in Art, and been invited to present papers at conferences in London, New York and New Zealand.