Since taking up conducting in 2015 in his mid-20’s, former acclaimed cellist Jonathan Bloxham has swiftly made his mark as a conductor of “accomplished technique, innate musicianship, with a natural rapport with orchestras and a deep knowledge and understanding of the symphonic repertoire” (Paavo Järvi).
His conducting career was launched when he took up the Assistant Conductor position at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 2016-2018 under Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, where he conducted a wide range of repertoire, closing their 2016/17 season at Symphony Hall. He returns for a main series with the CBSO in May. A summer concert with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie in 2018 led to a recording project and then to main series concert in Bremen and at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, with a fourth visit in April 2020. After recently taking over Rusalka rehearsals at the DSO Berlin for Robin Ticciati (whom he had assisted at Glyndebourne last Summer), he returns to conduct a studio concert in Autumn 2020.
Guest engagements since 2017 have also included the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Basque National Orchestra and RTE Chamber. This season he debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Shanghai Symphony, Guangzhou Symphony and China National Philharmonic (in Beijing). He also recently conducted the Manchester Camerata, London Mozart Players (Southbank and Kings Place) and Tapiola Sinfonietta. Next season’s highlights include his Halle Orchestra and Tokyo Symphony debuts.
His opera career is growing rapidly also; having assisted at Glyndebourne on Rusalka in summer 2019, in November he conducted two performances and assisted on Rigoletto for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, leading immediately to an invitation for four performances of Madama Butterfly later this year; this season he also conducts Nevill Holt Opera’s production of La Traviata.
For the past 11 years Bloxham has been Artistic Director of the Northern Chords Festival based in his home town of Newcastle upon Tyne. Prior to taking up conducting, he was a founding member and the cellist of the Busch Trio, performing regularly at the Wigmore Hall, Southbank and on BBC Radio 3. He won several prestigious awards whilst studying at the Royal College of Music, and made his concerto debut at the Berlin Philharmonie in 2012.
Passionate about contemporary music, Bloxham has commissioned several new works by young composers such as Vlad Maistorovici, Jack Sheen and Freya Waley Cohen. He has conducted the CBSO in a performance of Nitin Sawhney’s Animal Symphony which was broadcast on Sky Arts, and in May 2017 he conducted the premiere of Matthew Kaner’s Stranded for solo violin and chamber orchestra with violinist Benjamin Baker at the Europe Day Concert at St. John’s Smith Square, London.
Bloxham started his musical training at the age of 8 with a local cello teacher at his primary school in Gateshead. He then studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music with Thomas Carroll before completing a Master’s Degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Louise Hopkins. Bloxham has taken further conducting studies with Sian Edwards, Michael Seal, Nicolas Pasquet and Paavo Järvi.
Seen and Heard International
“Conducting from memory, Bloxham was remarkably attentive to the many and rapid transitions from elegance to vivacity”
“A compelling and utterly engrossing performance”