"Julia Jones’s attention to the emotional detail of Verdi's score achieved a searing intensity"
Rian Evans, The Guardian
"conductor Julia Jones successfully led the Staatskapelle in a truly pleasurable Mozartian experience, combining dramatic drive with beauty"
Joachim Lange, Freie Presse
"Julia Jones led a remarkable performance, notable for the sharp profile of the ensembles, the effectiveness of her tempo judgments and the lucid warmth of tone she drew from the orchestra"
George Hall, The Guardian
"Under Julia Jones’s baton the orchestral playing was immaculate"
Horst Koegler, Opera
"[Julia Jones’s] sheer skill in pacing and in sustaining long, energised lines of orchestral playing stepped up the momentum."
Hilary Finch, The Times
British conductor Julia Jones is renowned for the crispness of her interpretations, and the sensitivity of her conducting is echoed in countless reviews. The Guardian speaks of “searing intensity” and Deutschlandradio Kultur highlights the “great lightness and clarity” of her Mozart.
Julia is a regular guest at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where she has conducted Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte and Carmen and will return in future seasons to conduct Rigoletto and Le nozze di Figaro. She also maintains a close relationship with Oper Frankfurt, where she has acquired renown with operas including Falstaff, Idomeneo, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte and La Damnation de Faust.
Recent house debuts include the Royal Swedish Opera with Aida and Royal Danish Opera with Idomeneo where she returned in 2022 to conduct Don Giovanni.
Julia was General Music Director of the Wuppertaler Bühnen und Sinfonieorchester from 2016-2021, and her productions there have included Hänsel und Gretel, Carmen, Luisa Miller, Le nozze di Figaro and La boheme, as well as a series of symphonic concerts showing her knack for combining traditional core repertoire with lesser known and seldom performed pieces, which is a signature of her concert programmes. Previously she was Chief Conductor at Theater Basel (1998-2002); particularly memorable productions from this period include La Traviata, Otello, Lohengrin, Der Rosenkavalier and Eugene Onegin. As Chief Conductor of Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon and of the Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa (2008-2011) she conducted operas such as Carmen, Salome and Katya Kabanova as well as a diverse and far-ranging symphonic repertoire, stretching from the Baroque period to contemporary music.
At Staatsoper unter den Linden Berlin she conducted Otello, Aida, La traviata, and Le nozze di Figaro. In Vienna she made her mark with Die Zauberflöte, La Bohème and Così fan tutte at the Staatsoper, and with productions including Don Giovanni, The Adventures of Mr.
Broucek, Die Fledermaus, Carmen, Fidelio and Così fan tutte at the Volksoper. At the Semperoper Dresden she has enjoyed productions of Die Entführung, Idomeneo, and Die Zauberflöte. Other notable engagements include Macbeth, Idomeneo and Otello in Hamburg, Così fan tutte at Oper Köln, L’elisir d’amore, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Der fliegende Holländer at Opéra national du Rhin in Strasbourg, Madama Butterfly and Bluebeard’s Castle at Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Salzburg Festival, Aida at the Festival in Macerata, Lohengrin and Macbeth at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Die Zauberflöte at Seattle Opera, Der fliegende Holländer and La traviata at Den Norske Opera, and productions at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Welsh National Opera, Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Opera Australia in Sydney and Melbourne, Canadian Opera Company Toronto, and Washington National Opera.
Julia can look back on successful orchestral collaborations in the concert hall with the Staatskapelle Dresden, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Mozarteumsorchester Salzburg, Gürzenich-Orchester, Radiosinfonieorchester Wien, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, to name but a few. Most recently, she appeared with Dortmunder Philharmoniker, Bremer Philharmoniker, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Orkest van het Oosten and the Tonkünstler-Orchester Austria at Grafenegg Festival.
This season Julia will make her house debut for Opera Vlaanderen conducting Verdi’s Ernani in a new production by Barbora Horáková Joly, and she will return to the Staatstheater Stuttgart for Bizet’s Carmen. Further ahead she looks forward to returns to Covent Garden and the Royal Danish Opera.
This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.
Cosi fan tutte, Royal Opera House (July 2022)
Royal Opera House (July 2022)
“Solid ensemble performance, thoughtfully conducted by Julia Jones.” – The Times, Rebecca Franks
“Julia Jones’s buoyant conducting, mostly perfect in choice of fleet but not rushed tempi, seemed well tuned to her singers.” David Rice, The Arts Desk
"conducting by Julia Jones was trditionl, but swelled in emotion in all the right sections, heightening the cast's palpable chemistry." - Tacita Quinn, London Unattached
Haydn’s Symphony No. 44 and Mozart’s Requiem
Royal Danish Orchestra (February 2022)
"With an initially delicate grip on the orchestra , Jones swiftly moved right into the core of the symphony with increasing intensity and authority, leading the Royal Danish Orchestra to its climax in the Adagio and the subsequent Presto finale. (...) The Requiem was delightful under Jones' leadership."
Knud Arne Jürgensen, XQ28.com
"The Royal Danish Orchestra's playing was less overcomplicated with a delicate non-vibrato sound in the strings and an introverted wind section - clearly a conscious decision by conductor Julia Jones who really knows her Mozart."
Lars Ole Bonde, Operamagasinet Ascolta
Bregenzer Festspiele (August 2021)
"In the end unanimous applause, also for the Vienna Symphony with their exquisite woodwind soloists under the swift and effective direction of Julia Jones."
Christoph Irrgeher, Wiener Zeitung
During the evening, conductor Julia Jones develops a balanced and more and more three-dimensional interpretation with the Vienna Symphony.
Georg Rudiger, Der Tagesspiegel
"The biggest win was on the part of the musical and acoustic contribution. (...) As the experienced master she is, [Julia Jones] expanded the scope of the score's extremes impressively. Promptly, there was more lyrical warmth and loving piano around father and daughter as well as around the Duke and Gilda - and then Jones and the splendid Vienna Symphony delivered a fast-paced and lively "Zitti-Zitti"-chorus and shaped the fatal thunderstorm (...) into the evening's fulminant climax."
Wolf-Dieter Peter, nmz
Oper Wuppertal (June 2021)
"One can once again admire her will to create, which was the imprint of her operatic conducting - very focussed, very disciplined, always bearing in mind the whole, instead of losing herself in details or sentimentality. (...) However, Julia Jones is perfectly capable of letting rip: Wherever needed, the music has an uneasy energy and pushes forward The orchestra presents itself on splendid form. The woodwind solos are a dream but never lose touch with the ensemble."
Stefan Schmöe, Wuppertaler Rundschau
Royal Danish Opera (2020)
“The firmness is also present musically. British Conductor Julia Jones leads The Royal Danish Orchestra with a steady hand from the very beginning of the dramatic overture.”
Peter Dürrfeld, Kristeligt Dagblad
“The Mozart-expert Julia Jones who conducted the Royal Danish Orchestra emphasised the symphonic elements in the score, and the orchestra played with a virtuousic intensity”
Pia Fossheim, Operamagasinet Ascolta
“Julia Jones and the Royal Danish Orchestra successfully make Mozart’s music quiver on stage alongside the fatiguing events on stage”
Gregers Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Gregers DH
“English conductor Julia Jones seemed so excited by the achievement of the Royal Danish Orchestra that she seemed to wish they could all come on stage and receive their deserved applause”
Thomas Michelsen, Politiken
Choral Concert: Schubert & Berlioz
Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal (June 2017)
Thanks to [Julia Jones'] care and control as well as her precise direction, the orchestra, choir and soloists performed together exquisitely. Furthermore she ensured a sensitively structured sound even in the fortissimo passages.
Hartmut Sassenhausen, Westdeutsche Zeitung
Oper Wuppertal (November 2019)
[The choir] mastered the rhythmical and, in their interplay between stage and pit not always easy, passages impeccably and with beauty of sound. General Music Director Julia Jones was at the helm of the Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal, which played mellifluously and with nuance; she showed a sure hand coordinating the difficult interplay between stage, the banda on one side of the dress circle and the pit in act 2, and throughout the entire evening she makes Puccini’s score breathe, glow and resound with her elegant conducting.
Sibylle Eichhorn, Das Opernmagazin
What would La boheme be without the right musical foundations in the orchestra pit? Julia Jones is a painter-with-notes and a storyteller of impressive intensity. Her direction of the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra illuminates the intricate details of the score in glorious colours… This is sublime and at any given moment a musical delicacy of the highest class. Especially celebrated for her interpretations of Italian music, Julia Jones is working her way into the Champions League of the European music scene. You have to ask, is there really nothing that lets this premiere of La boheme in Wuppertal down? Where are the inconsistencies, the mistakes, or drops in quality. They don’t exist, plain and simple!
Ingo Luther, Klassik Begeistert
… Add to this finely balanced, nuanced sounds from the orchestra pit: The symphony orchestra under the thoughtful conducting of Julia Jones plays sensitively. She breathes with the singers as she accompanies them, and carefully chooses sympathetic dynamics. It is no surprise that the audience responds with standing ovations.
Hartmut Sassenhausen, Westdeutsche Zeitung
That Puccini’s hit opera La boheme does not dissolve into pure melodrama is due to the stylish musical performance as well as the smart scenic concept of this new production. Both General Music Director Julia Jones at the helm of Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra and the young, throughout excellent ensemble, as well as stage director Immo Karaman conceive the piece as what it is at its heart: an empathetic panorama of young people on the thorny way into adulthood.
Pedro Obiera, Westfälische Rundschau
Fantastic, too, is what the excellent symphony orchestra under Julia Jones is doing in the pit. Jones delicately traces many of the details [in the score]. In many of the passages which are usually overplayed with emotional exuberance, you can suddenly hear the sounds of metropolitan Paris - Puccini was much more modern in 1896 than is generally assumed. Many of the transitions are played with an immensely fine level of detail. When at the end of the second scene, for instance, the waltz segues into a march, but what we get here is different from the vast majority of performances: not a mere picturesque change of atmosphere, but an acoustic cue signalling the end of comfortableness. However, Julia Jones vividly portrays the great emotional outbursts, too. In short: both scenically and musically a great production; a must hear and see!
Stefan Schmöe, Wuppertaler Rundschau
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (June 2019)
Julia Jones brings out the brilliance of the score vividly, ably abetted by the Orchestra, finding detail that often passes by unnoticed. All the dances have amazing rhythmic precision and drive and expert control of dynamics.
Alexander Campbell, Classical Source
Julia Jones conducts with terrific zest, equally attuned to the Offenbachian sparkle and dark intensity of Bizet’s greatest score
Graham Rogers, The Stage
Worth fighting a bull for.
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer
Le nozze di Figaro
Oper Wuppertal (April 2019)
Musically the evening leaves nothing to be desired. Julia Jones at the conductor's stand of the Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal delights with a trim sound. Rousingly, Jones opts for [fast] tempi... With great nuance she brings out the depths of the various characters’ emotional outbursts.
Thomas Molke, Online Musik Magazin
Julia Jones' understanding of Mozart complements the staging. The historically informed General Music Director with her enthrallingly expressive symphony orchestra pits substance against the superficial lustre of the catchy tunes.
Lars von der Gönna, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung
Music worth hearing is coming from the orchestra pit, too. The Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal … shines with nuanced and well-balanced sounds. General Music Director Julia Jones ensures a firm grip, brings out the fine musical structures with meticulous clarity and carefully chooses tempi suitable for the singers. Thanks to this, Mozart’s score, which is full of layers for both orchestra and singers and which adds emotion to the tangle of intrigues, becomes clear and comprehensible.
Hartmut Sassenhausen, Westdeutsche Zeitung
The chorus and orchestra, too, are on top form. Under the sprightly conducting of Julia Jones, who takes her time in the beautiful quiet moments, the score is shaped all the way through with plenty of nuance and is guided by the clear sound of historically informed performance practice.
Stefan Schmöe, wuppertale rundschau
Julia Jones conducted a fiery but subtle performance.
Christoph Zimmerman, Opera Magazine
Haydn, Mendelssohn, Kraus and Schubert
Bremer Philharmoniker (February 2019)
The intoxicating result [of the young Mendelssohn’s work] is truly impressive, especially in this performance by the Bremer Philharmoniker. Thanks to precise execution and coherent phrasing, the orchestra, under the dedicated and very clear direction of Julia Jones, presents an interpretation rich in effects and with an impressive level of transparency, even given the seemingly impossible density of the over-fraught score. … In [their interpretation of] the second big work of the evening, Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 3, the Bremer Philharmoniker exploit vivid contrasts. The playful elegance of the second movement was brought out with accentuated rhythms and dabs of colour in the intonation of the strings and wind instruments. In contrast, the ensuing Menuetto was earthy and assertive and its gallant middle section with triple-metre buoyancy felt like an invitation to dance. The Finale, a taut presto, was entertaining and full of fizz, with attentively chosen nuanced dynamics throughout, like a splendid final dance.
Gerd Klingeberg, Weserkurier
At first glance, Julia Jones seems to approach Mendelssohn‘s work from an unspectacular perspective. However, it quickly becomes obvious that this is somebody who subtly makes the Bremer Philharmoniker realise what’s on the sheet music. In this interpretation of Mendelssohn, she sensitively and intricately picks out the smallest nuances which removes the smoothness which can sometimes be an [unintended] feature in Mendelssohn’s music… On the surface, [Schubert’s Third Symphony] is music that seems quite harmless. It requires a conductor who is not only deeply familiar with the score but can also serve up the 18 year-old Schubert’s ingenuity within his ever-flowing inspired melodies and sophisticated harmonies with a fresh perspective. Julia Jones has a firm grasp on it: her cracking sforzati are worthy of their name and her crescendi move like tempests.
Michael Pitz-Grewenig, Klassik.com
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