"Guest conductor Lewis displayed authority and deep conviction, skillfully leading the array of musical forces on the Copley Symphony Hall stage through this profound sacred work. Before orchestra directors decide on programming yet another “Lord Nelson” Mass, they should seriously consider Puccini’s Messa di Gloria."
With clear artistic vision, subtle musicality and innovative programming, Courtney Lewis has established himself as one of his generation’s most talented conductors. The 2020/21 season marks his sixth as music director of the Jacksonville Symphony. Lewis and the Symphony recently announced an additional contract extension that will keep Lewis as the organization’s artistic leader through 2023/24.
In June 2018, the Kennedy Center and Washington Performing Arts announced Lewis and the Jacksonville Symphony as one of four orchestras invited to participate in 2020 SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras. Lewis’s previous seasons in Jacksonville have featured an expanded repertoire including Mahler and Sibelius cycles, Adès’s Asyla, Ligeti’s Piano Concerto and Andres’s The Blind Banister, while raising the caliber of guest artists with performances by violinists Anthony Marwood and James Ehnes, and pianists Lang Lang, Inon Barnatan and Jonathan Biss. Since his debut in November 2008 with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Lewis has appeared with the Atlanta Symphony, San Diego Symphony Colorado Symphony, Washington National Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Houston Symphony, Manchester Halle, Rochester Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and Ulster Orchestra, among others.
From 2008 to 2014, Lewis was the music director of Boston’s acclaimed Discovery Ensemble, a chamber orchestra dedicated not only to giving concerts of contemporary and established repertoire at the highest level of musical and technical excellence, but also bringing live music into the least privileged parts of Boston with workshops in local schools. As a young conductor, Lewis served as associate conductor of the New York Philharmonic and Minnesota Orchestra and Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.