Julia Jones

Conductor

"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

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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. She performs regularly at many of the major European opera houses as well as appearing with a wide range of orchestras on the concert podium.

In recent seasons she collaborated with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Tonkünstler-Orchester Austria, Dortmunder Philharmoniker and Bremer Philharmoniker. She conducted Falstaff at Oper Frankfurt, L’elisir d’amore at Opéra national du Rhin, Die Zauberflöte at Seattle Opera, Die Zauberflöte at Covent Garden and La traviata at Den Norske Opera. In 18/19, she appeared at the ROH with Carmen and at the Royal Swedish Opera with Aida. 2019/20 saw her house debut at Royal Danish Opera with Idomeneo.

Julia was General Music Director at the opera and symphony orchestra in Wuppertal from 2016 to 2021, where she has conducted productions of Carmen, Hänsel und Gretel, Luisa Miller, Le nozze di Figaro, La boheme, Il barbiere di Siviglia and La traviata. In concert, she has extended the orchestra's reach and repertoire, exploring new and unconventional venues alongside their appearances at Wuppertal's famous Historische Stadthalle. Thanks to her imaginative programming and active commissioning of new works, Wuppertal audiences have been treated to several world premieres alongside staples of the classical canon, and a wide range of soloists including cellist Alban Gerhardt, the Melton Tuba Quartet and percussionist Vivi Vassileva. Appearances with the orchestra outside Wuppertal included Milan, Lisbon, and Amsterdam.

Previous posts have included Chief Conductor at Theater Basel, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, and Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa. She is a regular guest at Oper Frankfurt, Semperoper Dresden, and Volksoper Vienna.

Further guest appearances include the Staatsoper Berlin, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Hamburg Staatsoper, Welsh National Opera, Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, as well as the Salzburg Festival. Also Staatskapelle Dresden, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Mozarteumsorchester Salzburg, Gürzenich-Orchester, Radiosinfonieorchester Wien, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.



Photographer credit: Daniel Häker

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Idomeneo

Royal Danish Opera (Feb 2020)

The scene, acting and music play together perfectly, because the three elements support each other instead of competing. This tightness also applies in sheer musical terms: the English conductor Julia Jones steers the Royal Orchestra with a safe hand right from the overture. Of musical wonders there are many in this three hour performance.

Peter Dürrfeld, Kristeligt Dagblad ****

La bohème

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

Carmen

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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