Jonathon Heyward shines at Manchester International Festival with The Hallé
Last Thursday, Jonathon Heyward stepped up to lead the orchestra in Sir Mark Elder’s place through Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7, also known as the “Leningrad Symphony”. In one of his last concerts as Assistant Conductor of the orchestra, he made a championed debut at the Manchester International Festival, with the concert taking place at Manchester’s The Bridgewater Hall.
Sir Mark Elder and Johan Simons, the acclaimed Dutch theatre director, began the evening with an open discussion about Shostakovich’s work, which was composed for more than 100 musicians following Hitler’s invasion of Moscow during the Second World War.
The performance was received with great praise:
“Heyward’s control in pacing this and giving the movement (and symphony) such clear shape was remarkable”
“From the outset, the sound was bright and relentlessly busy, with a sense of latent energy conveyed even in the symphony’s stiller moments.”
“Dimitri Shostakovich’s stunning sympathy, Leningrad was successfully brought to life by conductor Jonathon Heyward and The Hallé Orchestra. Throughout the entire performance Jonathon Heywardd conducted himself with notable discipline, switching from tiny hand movements to large expression of his upper body like it was second nature to him.”