Review: Dudamel Fellow Jonathon Heyward, 25, steps in for LA Phil debut

Posted on: December 6, 2017

“Will the Los Angeles Philharmonic be Jonathon Heyward’s good luck charm?” writes Rick Schultz in Monday’s (12/4) Los Angeles Times. “Heyward [is] a 25-year-old American who is part of the L.A. Phil’s prestigious Dudamel Fellowship Program for conductors… When illness forced Miguel Harth-Bedoya to withdraw this weekend from the L.A. Phil’s ‘Bernstein 100’ anniversary concert … Heyward stepped in.… Heyward conducted the premiere of an L.A. Phil commission, Tania León’s intimate ‘Ser (Being),’ as well as Leonard Bernstein’s tricky 1954 Serenade … featuring soloist Hilary Hahn. With reportedly only two days to prepare … Heyward [launched] into Glinka’s warhorse [‘Ruslan and Ludmila’ Overture] with whirlwind vitality and an exuberant boyish charm that was positively Bernsteinian. He then settled down for the Serenade…. Heyward and the L.A. Phil made the most of Bernstein’s changing meters and jagged rhythms, capturing the bristling energy of the jazzy finale. … ‘Ser’ … León’s finely crafted and bird-sound-haunted piece engaged the coloristic resources of the L.A. Phil to lovely effect. Especially memorable were the chirping clarinet and fluttering flute figures, set off by zesty writing for the brasses. Heyward led the orchestra with delicacy and mature skill, lending León’s ethereal 10-minute piece a shapely character.”

Posted December 6, 2017