rave reviews for aus ballet in london
The Australian Ballet marks its return to the Royal Opera House after 35 years with performances of Balanchine's Jewels and a special 60th anniversary gala. Jonathan, conducting the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, garnered critical praise for his conducting on this tour:
'The Royal Ballet Sinfonia under the baton of Jonathan Lo, currently the most versatile ballet conductor in the world, produces sumptuous tones, a rich soaring sound that lifts the spirits contrasted with acute musical sensitivity to delicate passages.' Dance Europe
'The Royal Ballet Sinfonia are on top form under Australian Ballet's musical director Jonathan Lo. Their opening chords of Emeralds are played with sublime delicacy...' The Guardian
'The music here... wonderfully played by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia under Jonathan Lo' Bachtrack
Nureyev's Don Quixote in Australia
Jonathan marks his mainstage debut as Music Director of the Australian Ballet with Nureyev's Don Quixote in the Arts Centre Melbourne.
The Guardian writes: 'Minkus's score is wonderfully variegated and richly melodic, played by Orchestra Victoria under the baton of Jonathan Lo with sensitivty and passion'. The Australian Arts Review comments that the score was 'generously conducted by new Musical Director and Chief Conductor Jonathan Lo, providing a musical platform for the dancers to shine'. Furthermore, the online arts review blog Man in Chair reviews that 'the Australian Ballet's new music director Jonathan Lo makes the strongest possible impression, leading Orchestra Victoria in a sumptuous performance of Minkus melodious score...'
Jonathan appointed music director of the australian ballet
Following on from his critically acclaimed debut with the Australian Ballet, Jonathan was appointed Music Director of the company, succeeding Nicolette Fraillon AM in 2023.
The Australian Ballet’s Artistic Director David Hallberg said: “It is undeniable that ballet and music are symbiotic; without music, ballet does not exist. The role of Music Director is integral to our success, and I am thrilled to welcome Jonathan to this vital position. Jonathan’s exceptional talent and enthusiasm for our artform will ensure the musicians in the pit and dancers on stage continue to deliver performances of the highest quality. I personally look forward to welcoming Jonathan as a creative partner, and to working together as The Australian Ballet enters its next exciting chapter.”
jonathan makes acclaimed african debut
'The orchestra is a knockout... There is a seamless synchronisation between the dance and music... It is magical to experience the Cape Town Philharmonic and the magnetic Jonathan Lo. The energy of the orchestra and the vitality of the dancers is breathtaking.' The Cape Robyn
'Under the cohesive baton of conductor Jonathan Lo, musicians of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra provide sterling accompaniment with due respect for tempi to do justice to Prokofiev's delectable score.' Weekend Specials SA
In August 2022, Jonathan made an acclaimed debut with Cape Town City Ballet and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra in Veronica Paeper's Romeo & Juliet and Frederick Ashton's Les Patineurs.
Jonathan signs for harrison & parrot
Jonathan is delighted to sign with the world renowned classical music agency Harrison & Parrot, joining other world class dancers, artists and creatives in their newly created Dance Division.
Further information can be found here:
Recent Reviews & Schedule Update
Jonathan's recent run of The Nutcracker and Romeo & Juliet with the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden has garnered critical and audience acclaim:
'[Jonathan] gets the best from the musicians without overriding the needs of the stage production and the dancers; Tchaikovsky's music is in many ways the most important feature of this ballet and Lo does him proud.' Dance Europe
'The beautiful phrasing and nuanced detail in the dynamics from both dancers and musicians under Jonathan Lo was astounding, and the orchestra must have been on such a high post-performance.' Clare Varney, The Spidy Editor, Netherlands
'The Royal Ballet remained stimulated and totally engaged with the work from the first performance to the last. The same can be said of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, playing for conductor Jonathan Lo.' Jonathan Gray, Dance Europe
music of Merlin garner critical praise
The music of Grant Olding for Drew McOnie's ballet, Merlin, has been picking up critical praise on its world premiere run so far:
'Grant Olding's music, which is played with gusto by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia, shares with the choreography an imitative impulse, with sound matched to action so directly as to be almost onomatopoeic.' - The Telegraph
'The original music from the prolific theatre composer Grand Olding... soared with instant enjoyment and memorable descriptive passages... conducted with admirable pace and clarity by Jonathan Lo' - DanceTabs
'Grand Olding's original score is a great addition to the ballet music repertoire... Conductor Jonathan Lo ensured that the Northern Ballet Sinfonia played like angels throughout.' - Reviews Gate
'The Northern Ballet Sinfonia... conducted by Jonathan Lo... were simply superb' - Nottingham Live
'Grant Olding's music fits the dance perfectly... The Northern Ballet Sinfonia were as superb as always' - Seeing Dance
Jonathan garners further critical acclaim as ballet returns
Jonathan garnered further critical acclaim as he led Northern Ballet Sinfonia in Northern Ballet's programmes of Iconic Classics, 20 years of David Nixon and Dangerous Liaisons in October 2020. He was also on the podium for the Royal Ballet's November 2020 programmes, with repertoire including Within the Golden Hour, and excerpts from Le Corsaire, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and Monotones.
'...ably supported by the playing of Northern Ballet Sinfonia under the intelligent baton of Jonathan Lo, who is swiftly developing into a truly outstanding ballet conductor.' - Mike Dixon, Dance Europe
'Jonathan Lo's conducting was a gift to the dancers: sensitive and supportive without being too obvious' - Amanda Jennings, Dance Europe
World Premiere 'Geisha' critical acclaim
'Under the baton of Jonathan Lo, the Northern Ballet Sinfonia has a crucial role in this production.'
- Yorkshire Times
'The Northern Ballet Sinfonia's musical excellence, performing live, was much appreciated'
'...a seamlessly artful score from the film composer Alexandra Harwood' - the Times
'Ambitious and accomplished' - Daily Telegraph
'a team piece... alchemises design, story, music and dance into high drama' - The Guardian
Jonathan Appointed music director of northern ballet
Northern Ballet has appointed Jonathan Lo as the Company’s new Music Director. He will replace outgoing Music Director John Pryce-Jones who has retired after 27 years with Northern Ballet. Lo will take up his permanent position this summer, joining in time to lead the music department for Northern Ballet’s 50th anniversary.
Full Press Release Here:
New Work New Music Royal Ballet
Jonathan is thrilled to have been invited to conduct for the Royal Ballet's first appearance in the newly-refurbished Linbury Theatre, performing five premieres to contemporary music played live by the London Sinfonietta.
More details can be found here:
BBC phil debut
Jonathan recently made his debut with the BBC Philharmonic in a concert at Manchester's Stoller Hall. Entitled Scoring Fear, this concert was a part of the Manchester Gothic Festival, focusing on the relationship between music and gothic horror movies. This was recorded for BBC Radio 3's Sound of Cinema series and will be broadcast on the 18th August, 2018.
Photo by Sara Porter
‘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 Times, China
Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 & Beethoven Symphony No. 1
'Fine Meeting of musical talents... the whole performance was a delight'
Lancashire Guardian, Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 with Martin Roscoe
Jonathan is thrilled to begin his tenure as Music Director of the Haffner Orchestra in Lancaster. A community event on the 14th October will be followed by the first concert on the 11th November, featuring Gina McCormack playing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, as well as Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony
Photo by: Roger Kempf, Haffner Orchestra
Critical Praise for Northern & Royal Ballet
In his final performances as Music Director of Northern Ballet, Jonathan garnered critical praise for his conducting of David Nixon's The Great Gatsby, with music by Richard Rodney Bennett. In the same period, Jonathan conducted performances of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty for the Royal Ballet, with the latter live streamed to cinemas across the world.
'Jonathan Lo conducted the Northern Ballet Sinfonia with his customary aplomb (surely there is more than one of him since he appears to be conducting everywhere all at once ,these days)!' Bachtrack
'Finally, kudos to Jonathan Lo who led the splendid orchestra through a brisk, nuanced and exquisitely played account of Tchaikovsky's rich and varied score. Lo never sounded as if he ever held back at the big moments or - while always sensitive to their needs - suggested he indulged his dancers.' Seen and Heard International
Ballet Under the Stars in Melbourne
Jonathan conducts his first performance as the Australian Ballet's Music Director in the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in front of an audience of 7000. Accompanied by Orchestra Victoria, the company performed an eclectic mix of repertoire in a gala that launched the 60th anniversary season.
'Orchestra Victoria sounded formidable under the baton of newly appointed company music director Jonathan Lo' The Age
'It was a delight to watch Lo conduct the 64-piece orchestra. His expressive body seemed to organically transfer the score's shifting emotional landscape to the musicians' Artshub Australia
'Orchestra Victoria was in fabulous form under Jonathan Lo... Lo has a very articulate and quite balletic conducting style and made a great first impression' Dance Australia
Rave reviews for australian debut
The critics have lavished praise on Jonathan's Australian debut, conducting the Orchestra Victoria in John Cranko's Romeo & Juliet for the Australian Ballet.
'Under the wonderfully assured baton of conductor Jonathan Lo... the orchestra play with such suppleness and control, you almost will the curtain to stay down just so you can listen harder.' The Guardian
'Carrying the work... is Sergei Prokofiev's monumental score, superbly realised by Orchestra Victoria under conductor Jonathan Lo.' Limelight Magazine
'Guest conductor Jonathan Lo helms Orchestra Victoria in a finely detailed musical performance that would readily stand alone as a concert hall attraction'
Man in a Chair
'Orchestra Victoria, with guest conductor Jonathan Lo at the helm, gave a stupendous reading of the score's vivid evocation... Lo's direction of this endlessly rich score was brilliantly on point.' Deborah Jones
success at dutch national ballet
'Ook Het Balletorkest onder leiding van Jonathan Lo blaast de juiste ademteugen in de muzikalieteit van Van Manens choreografieën...
[The Het BalletOrkest conducted by Jonathan Lo, breathes the right breaths into the musicality of van Manen's choreographies...]' de Volkskrant
Jonathan was the conductor for the national tour and the Amsterdam festival of Dutch National Ballet's 'Hans van Manen at 90' celebrations. In addtion, he shared the podium with music director Matthew Rowe, celebrating the company's 60th anniversary in the end of season gala in the Musiktheater, Amsterdam.
REviews for The royal ballet's DGV triple bill
'Christopher Wheeldon's DGV: Danse à grande vitesse (2006) is alluring and mysterious. The piece is set to Michael Nyman's propulsive MGV (Musique à Grande Vitesse)... and here conducted with great excitement by Jonathan Lo' - Debra Caine, The Times
'Wheeldon's DGV... is an outstanding example of integrated creativity in which all the artistic eleemnts - choreography, music, design and lighting - add up to something more than the sum of their parts... Jonathan Lo conducted the orchestra with the intensity that Nyman's music demands.' - Graham Watts, Bachtrack
Ballet Icons gala 2021 & 2022 Update
Jonathan was delighted to be invited by Ensemble Productions to conduct the English National Philharmonic for the prestigious Ballet Icons Gala. Collaborating with some of the world's biggest ballet stars, the evening was also Jonathan's debut at the London Coliseum, with repertoire drawn from popular ballet gala favourites such as Giselle, Don Quixote, Paquita, Sleeping Beauty and Le Corsaire.
In other news, Jonathan is thrilled to confirm further performances in the first part of 2022, including the addition of DGV for the Royal Ballet, a tour of the Netherlands with Dutch National Ballet & Het BalletOrkest, and appearances at the Hans van Manen Festival Celebration in Amsterdam.
Pictured in rehearsals at the London Coliseum by Kristyna Kashivili
end of season at northern ballet
As music director of Northern Ballet, Jonathan was on the podium for their performances of Dangerous Liaisons and Swan Lake as the company's curtailed season comes to a close.
Dance Europe writes of Swan Lake:
'The tempi, under the baton of the estimable Jonathan Lo, are thrillingly appropriate and the Northern Ballet Sinfonia play excitingly.'
The Reviews Hub writes of Swan Lake:
'The magical symbolism at work here is truly profound and matched idyllically by Tchaikovsky's sensational and touchingly familiar score. The music is under Jonathan Lo's masterful control with the Northern Ballet Sinfonia in fine form.'
The Ilkley Gazette writes of Swan Lake:
'Jonathan Lo conducts a translucent account of Tchaikovsky's great musical score...'
Jonathan leads royal ballet back on stage
Jonathan has made a return to the podium since the start of the pandemic conducting the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for a gala performance by the Royal Ballet. This performance marks a historic occasion when the company returned to the stage for the first time since the lockdown, and has garnered critical reviews:
'The Dancers and the orchestra under Jonathan Lo are rarely less than sublime' - The Stage
'Handsomely conducted' - The Independent
'...(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...' - Mike Dixon Dance Europe
'The orchestra - spiritedly conducted by Jonathan Lo - played some diverse music very well indeed...' - Seen and Heard International
'Throughout, the orchestra excel and hearing them is a treat... Here, Lo is a guide and translator for the dancers...' - Northwestend.com
happy new year 2020!
Jonathan started the new decade with a Gala performance celebrating Northern Ballet's 50th anniversary, conducting the Northern Ballet Sinfonia playing live for guests including principals from the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet & Joffrey Ballet. This was followed by the first orchestral concert of 2020 with the Haffner Orchestra.
'Everything was expertly accompanied by Northern Ballet's in-house orchestra under the baton of Jonathan Lo. A suitably grand event.'
- Donald Hutera, The Times, Northern Ballet 50th anniversary gala
'Jonathan Lo, the fantastic passionate and supremely encouraging conductor... another excellent evening with the Haffner Orchestra'
- Siobhan Tough, Lancaster Guardian, Haffner Orchestra February Concert
main stage debut royal opera house
After a successful run of performances conducting the London Sinfonietta in Royal Ballet's first production in the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House ('The musical resources - in the shape of the London Sinfonietta, conducted by Jonathan Lo - are fantastic' Debra Craine in The Times), Jonathan has been invited to step in to conduct Within the Golden Hour and Flight Pattern for the Royal Ballet. This programme will be live in cinemas around the world on the 16th May 2019.
More details can be found here:
Season 2018-2019 sees Jonathan returning to Birmingham Royal Ballet for La Fille mal Gardeé, The King Dances and Hobson's Choice, and to Scottish Ballet for Cinderella. He will also make his debut with Northern Ballet with the world premiere performances of Victoria.
In addition to his performances in his position as Principal Guest Conductor of the Xi'an Symphony Orcehstra and his regular schedule of concerts in the UK, Jonathan will begin his formal association with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as a Jette Parker Young Artist. He will be serving on the conducting staff primarily for the Royal Ballet in this capacity.
Photo by Amy Botly
'Conductor Jonathan Lo enabled [Yuuki Bouterey-Ishido's (cello soloist)] strong tones not to be engulfed by the orchestra, and the song-like tunes, rhythmic accompaniment by the orchestra and the swooping scales... were both moving and exhilarating.'
'The Haffner, with Jonathan Lo in charge, were up to the challenge (Schubert's 9th Symphony). It was an impressive and very enjoyable performance'
Lancashire Guardian, June 2018
updated season listing 2017-2018
As well as the normal schedule of concerts, and in addition to returning to Birmingham Royal Ballet for Nutcracker, a contemporary double bill and La Fille ma Gardee, Jonathan is looking forward to making his debut with Scottish Ballet in a revival of Matthew Bourne's Highland Fling.