'his instinctive understanding of dance tempi is a deeply satisfying aspect of BRB and Northern Ballet performances. Here, with the Royal Ballet, he raises the bar... the players sounding better and more alert than they have in years.'
- Mike Dixon, Dance Europe
Hong Kong-born Briton Jonathan Lo is Music Director of Northern Ballet, Staff Conductor for the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, Principal Guest Conductor of the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra, Principal Conductor of the New Bristol Sinfonia, Haffner Orchestra. He was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House and a conducting fellow with Birmingham Royal Ballet. In addition, Jonathan maintains his passion for working with young musicians through his work as Music Director of the King’s College London Symphony Orchestra. He was Senior Lecturer in conducting at Leeds College of Music and continues to teach privately
Born in 1987, Jonathan read music at the University of Oxford, before going on to study conducting at Royal Northern College of Music on a major scholarship, graduating with distinction and winning the Mortimer Furber Prize in conducting contemporary music. Jonathan was appointed to his first music directorship aged 18 with the Oxford University Philharmonia after winning the University’s conducting competition. Since then, Jonathan has conducted orchestras internationally and nationally, most notably the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Ballet Sinfonia, London Sinfonietta, Manchester Camerata, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Gabrieli Consort, Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, Fairey Band and Orquestra do Algarve. He has studied and/or worked with conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Sir Antonio Pappano, Ed Gardner, Barry Wordsworth, Nicholas Kraemer & Paul McCreesh.
‘Jonathan Lo and the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra brought the invention and the concept of the music clearly to life with such transparency... music making that is both technically impressive and passionately expressive.’
Musical Weekly, China
Increasingly sought after by ballet companies around the world, Jonathan was the conductor for the Royal Ballet's critically acclaimed 'Back on Stage' gala, the company's first performance after months of lockdown due to the pandemic in 2020. He made his Royal Opera House main stage debut with the Royal Ballet with Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour and Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern, which was broadcast live to cinemas around the world and made for commercial DVD release, and was immediately invited to return in the following season before being appointed staff conductor. This followed his debut with the company, conducting the first Royal Ballet performance in the refurbished Linbury Theatre with the London Sinfonietta in New Work, New Music.
Jonathan was appointed Music Director of Northern Ballet after making his debut as guest music director for Cathy Marston’s Victoria. A BBC Performing Arts Fellow in 2015 with Birmingham Royal Ballet and Rambert Dance Company, he has since been invited to guest conduct for both companies regularly, as well as Dutch National Ballet and Scottish Ballet in works ranging from Cinderella (Bintley, Hampton), Nutcracker (Wright, Eagling & Van Schayk), La Fille mal Gardee (Ashton), Highland Fling (Matthew Bourne) to Transfigured Night (Kim Brandstrup), Ghost Dances (Christopher Bruce) and The 3 Dancers (Diddy Veldman).
Jonathan was Music Director of the Manchester Chamber Choir from 2015-2020, and in this role worked as chorus master for the BBC Philharmonic both at the BBC Proms and in the recording studio. In addition to the choir’s series of concerts, Jonathan also conducts them regularly for broadcasts on BBC Radios. Future highlights include David Nixon's Swan Lake, the world premiere of Kenny Tindall's Geisha and Drew McOnie's Merlin for Northern Ballet, Giselle and Nutcracker for BRB, Nutcracker for Dutch National Ballet and a return to the main stage at the Royal Opera House.