Jonathon Heyward

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra announced on Thursday that it had chosen Jonathon Heyward, 29, an African American conductor, as its next music director. He will begin a five-year contract in Baltimore at the start of the 2023-24 season. Heyward will succeed Marin Alsop.

Heyward, who grew up in Charleston, S.C., the son of an African American father and a white mother, will be the first person of color to lead the orchestra in its 106-year history.

Heyward, who is the chief conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Germany, began studying cello at 10. A graduate of the Boston Conservatory, he later served as an assistant conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in England, under its longtime music director, Mark Elder.

Jonathon Heyward named Chief Conductor of Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie

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