In conversation: Jacksonville Symphony’s Courtney Lewis

Posted on: January 13, 2016

“Conductor Courtney Lewis might have spent most of his working life in the US, but he still talks with one of those soft Northern Irish accents in which almost any sentence can be tilted up at the end to sound like a question,” writes Michael Dervan in Tuesday’s (1/12) Irish Times (Dublin). “That style of inflection neatly encapsulates the fact that he has an exceptionally inquiring mind…. His path has taken him from childhood in Belfast to the music directorship of the Jacksonville Symphony in Florida, [where] he is now in his first full season.” Lewis’s previous U.S. appointments include assistant conductor positions at the Minnesota Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. “His ambitions in Jacksonville are rather grand. ‘The orchestra really want to develop. All the pieces of the puzzle are there. The community, the city, has a lot of untapped funding resources. The hall is already amazing.… It’s a really exciting place to be right now…. Music education and new music at the middle of everything an institution does; the sense of an orchestra’s social responsibility to the city: that’s very much what we’re trying to do in Jacksonville.’ ”

Posted January 13, 2016