Courtney Lewis, who became the Minnesota Orchestra’s associate conductor in September 2010 after one year as assistant conductor, has worked with orchestras and chamber ensembles from London to Los Angeles to Venezuela, earning recognition as one of today’s top emerging conductors. During the Orchestra’s 2012-13 season he will lead the Young People’s Concert series; he will also return to the classical subscription series in November 2012, conducting works of Fauré, Mozart and Schumann.
Lewis was one of only four conductors from around the world selected by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for its 2011-12 Dudamel Fellowship Program. For ten weeks in winter and spring 2012 he worked alongside Music Director Gustavo Dudamel and musicians of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and interacted with students in the orchestra’s education programs. In addition, he conducted the ensemble in multiple performances in March 2012.
Lewis is founding music director of Boston’s acclaimed Discovery Ensemble, a chamber orchestra with the mission of introducing inner-city school children to classical music while bringing new and unusual repertoire to established concert audiences. In 2009 he completed a two-year tenure as Zander Fellow with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, a prestigious conducting apprenticeship under the ensemble’s music director, Benjamin Zander.
In November 2008 Lewis made his major American orchestra debut with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, leading a series of concerts and assisting conductor David Robertson. In recent seasons he has worked with the BBC Philharmonic, Ulster Orchestra, Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and Atlanta Symphony, and at the New Hampshire Music Festival, as well as with smaller groups including the Nash Ensemble. During the 2012-13 season he will return to the Atlanta Symphony and will debut with the National Symphony of Washington, D.C., as well as with the Vancouver Symphony, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Fundacion Excelentia Madrid, Naples Philharmonic and Alabama Symphony.
Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Lewis attended the University of Cambridge, where he studied composition with Robin Holloway and clarinet with Dame Thea King, graduating at the top of his year with starred first class honors. After completing a master’s degree with a focus on the late music of György Ligeti, he attended the Royal Northern College of Music, where his teachers included Sir Mark Elder and Clark Rundell.
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