New Professional Appointment


It’s not often that the proverbial phone rings (nobody telephones anymore, they email) and a position is offered to you out of the blue , but it’s very nice when it happens – and even nicer when the stars converge, all the dates work out, and you’re able to say yes.

With a full slate of concerts, including appearances with the Whatcom and Prince George symphonies in the spring, plus ongoing speaking engagements, it’s going to be more and more challenging to maintain this blog, but el Sistema, or rather, its implications for the interrelation between music, education and society worldwide, remains central to what I do both on and off the podium. As moving as those performances of Venezuelan orchestras can be, whether seen live or on YouTube, nothing compares to being a part of them, even in small measure. Those experiences I had working as a conductor in Venezuela continue to shape and inform my perspective today more so than anything else – not just the experience of working in Sistema, but the experience of being changed by it as both person and an artist. The memories of how it affected me personally and emotionally now uniquely inform my perspective, motivate my research, and inspire both my ongoing advocacy for a public music and my continued pursuit of artistic excellence as a conductor.

Hence Halifax. The position of Resident Conductor with Symphony Nova Scotia is just for one year, but that doesn’t diminish the potential in the least.

Below is an abridged press release. See you at the concerts.



Symphony Nova Scotia welcomes Jonathan Govias as Resident Conductor for 2012/13 concert season

Halifax, NS – Symphony Nova Scotia is pleased to welcome Jonathan Andrew Govias as Resident Conductor for the 2012/13 concert season.

Govias will be Symphony Nova Scotia’s fourth Resident Conductor, following Dinuk Wijeratne (2005-2008), Martin MacDonald (2008-2011), and Shalom Bard (2011-12) in a position made possible through the Canada Council for the Arts’ Residencies for Composers and Conductors program.

“We are delighted to welcome Jonathan Govias as our new resident conductor,” says Maestro Gueller. “He will bring a fresh perspective to some of our concerts and we know that he will make a great contribution to Symphony Nova Scotia. I look forward to working with him.”

As Symphony Nova Scotia’s Resident Conductor, Jonathan will conduct the orchestra in many of its season performances, including concerts on the orchestra’s main stage at the Rebecca Cohn, special events, and potentially some outreach concerts. He will also work behind the scenes with administration and production staff throughout the season.

“Symphony Nova Scotia’s thirtieth season is a celebration of an enduring relationship between orchestra and community,” says Govias, who will join the orchestra this month. “This is an orchestra that gives its best for an audience that demands and deserves the best, and I can’t wait to be a part of this tradition – and this party.”




6 thoughts on “New Professional Appointment

  1. Oh dear – El Sistema’s most outspoken critic and evangelist, leaving the podium. This is not the best news but it is the best news for you of course, and your family. Congratulations Jonathan. Looking forward to a catchup.

    1. Chris, rumours of my Sistema death are greatly exaggerated. I will continue to be very active in this sphere, but perhaps less so online with the blog. Less so – I haven’t maintained this forum for three years to discontinue it now.

      Most outspoken critic and evangelist? I don’t think I deserve either title. I’ve just tried to bridge the fantasy with reality, much in the way you have at an entirely more pragmatic and admirable level.

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