British conductor and pianist Jonathon Swinard enjoys a varied freelance career across the UK and Europe. He is currently based in Glasgow, where he works as Chorus Master and Répétiteur for Scottish Opera and as a vocal coach at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
His work for Scottish Opera includes Chorus Master for La bohème and Le villi; Musical Director of Opera Highlights; Répétiteur for The Magic Flute, Werther, The Pirates of Penzance, Don Giovanni, Don Pasquale, and Madama Butterfly. Between 2014-2016 he was a full-time member of music staff at the Staatstheater Nürnberg, where he conducted Carmen, Kiss me Kate, Singing in the Rain, Symphonie Fantastique (ballet) and Sleeping Beauty, as well as playing a vast range of operatic repertoire in both rehearsal and concert.
Recent conducting engagements include: Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte for Opera Vera and Assistant Conductor for the world-premiere of Nicola Lefanu’s chamber opera Tokaido Road for Okeanos. From 2013-2014 he held the Alexander Gibson Choral Conducting Fellowship with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus, having also worked as Chorus Master for Hutchesons’ Choral Society, Edinburgh Grand Opera, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Oxford University Student Chorus. While in Germany he was the assistant conductor of the Nürnberg Hans Sachs Chor. He is currently the Musical Director of the Helensburgh Oratorio Choir.
Jonathon studied at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before joining the Music Staff at Scottish Opera as the company’s first Emerging Artist Répétiteur. He was a bursary student on the 2016 Advanced Conducting Course at the Dartington International Summer School and continues to study conducting privately with Sian Edwards.
In addition to his regular work in Scotland, he is Assistant to the Artistic Director of the renowned Solti Accademia di Bel Canto in Tuscany, Head of Music for the New Generation Opera Festival in Florence, and a guest vocal coach for Lyric Opera Studio Weimar.
Or so they say. This weekend, Dazed flew out to Lagos, Nigeria for the third annual MTV Africa Music.
Awards and spent a few days and some late nights meeting rap, R&B and kuduro superstars from across Africa: names like Banky W, Fally Ipupa, Daddy Owen, Cabo Snoop and Radio & Weasel, from Angola to Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and beyond, all huge stars in their own countries, selling truckloads of records despite rampant piracy and a rickety music industry. These guys are kind of the Jay Zs and Snoops of Africa, basically.