George Jackson

CONDUCTOR

ABOUT

“George Jackson conducted the full ENO orchestra in a magnificent account of the score, sparkling with playful humour in the dialogues and exultantly romantic in the interludes.”

***** Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

“The acoustics of this endearingly quirky opera house are excellent and the ENO orchestra sounded radiant under the accomplished direction of George Jackson. Textural detail emerged clearly and the dramatic momentum was unfaltering.”

***** Barry Millington, Evening Standard

“Humperdinck’s debt to Wagner is inescapable in this score, and George Jackson and the ENO Orchestra draw it out in a way that adds to the music’s stature without sounding merely derivative.”

***** Peter Reed, Classical Source

Armed with insatiable artistic curiosity, a true performer’s instincts and the advantages of a rigorous central European training, George Jackson has earned critical acclaim for the authority and eloquence of his music-making. The British conductor’s career continues to gather momentum, propelled by landmark debuts with leading orchestras and opera companies and fuelled by his power to communicate compelling musical ideas.

Jackson’s interpretation of Hänsel und Gretel for Grange Park Opera, given with the Orchestra of English National Opera in summer 2019, was showered with five-star reviews and hailed as ‘magnificent’ by the Telegraph. His 2019-20 season includes returns to work with Ensemble Intercontemporain at the Philharmonie Luxembourg and Cité de la musique in Paris, and the orchestras of Opera North and Opéra de Rouen. He is also set to conduct a retrospective of music by Irish composers, comprising works by Brian Boydell, Ina Boyle and Stanford, with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin and the world premiere of Tscho Theissing’s Genia at Theater an der Wien, a major contribution to Beethoven Year 2020.
News of the conductor’s calm assurance and dynamic musicianship spread worldwide in April 2018 when he replaced Daniel Harding at short notice in Ives’s Fourth Symphony with the Orchestre de Paris at the Philharmonie de Paris. He also conducted Les Arts Florissants and Ensemble Intercontemporain during the same concert. The range of Jackson’s work is reflected in other recent engagements, embracing everything from debut performances with Hamburg State Opera, the London Symphony Orchestra, the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Kammeroper Frankfurt and the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie to new productions with his Vienna-based Speculum Musicae Opera Company and The Magic Flute for Opera North.

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“The full-scale ENO Orchestra under George Jackson makes the late-Romantic score sound marvellous.”

George Hall, Grange Park Opera / Hänsel und Gretel, The Stage

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“George Jackson’s conducting is so idiomatic, drawing first-class playing from the orchestra of English National Opera.”

David Mellor, Grange Park Opera / Hänsel und Gretel, The Mail on Sunday

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“Humperdinck’s debt to Wagner is inescapable in this score, and George Jackson and the ENO Orchestra draw it out in a way that adds to the music’s stature without sounding merely derivative. A piercing solo trumpet in the Prelude for a moment stranded you in Parsifal, links between orchestra and singers were expertly and naturally judged, and the music’s abundance of charm, atmosphere and shameless memorability are all there for the hearing. If I were coming to this inexhaustible opera for the first time, this would be a touchstone production.”

Peter Reed, Grange Park Opera / Hänsel und Gretel, Classical Source

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English National Opera’s orchestra brought out all that there is in Humperdinck’s music under the nurturing baton of conductor George Jackson.”

Christopher Walker, Grange Park Opera / Hänsel und Gretel, London News Online

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“The English National Opera Orchestra plays well for conductor George Jackson and Grange Park’s excellent acoustics are a boon for everybody.”

Richard Fairman, Hänsel und Gretel / Grange Park Opera, Financial Times

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“George Jackson conducts the ENO orchestra who play beautifully. The result is a charming and elegant rendition of the score.”

Louise Lewis, Hänsel und Gretel / Grange Park Opera, British Theatre Guide

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“The musical delights started with the first notes of the overture as the horn melody rose out of the pit, rich in texture and beautifully shaped. George Jackson and the orchestra brought out the well-made counterpoint which underlies Humperdinck’s score. Yes, the glorious melodies were there, finely phrased and, well, glorious. But weaving them together was a sense of this beautifully made German counterpoint, which showed the work’s complex history […]. And George Jackson, a young conductor to watch, was clearly alive to the various resonances in Humperdinck’s score. Yes it is Wagnerian, but I also heard pre-echoes of Mahler in the Act Two folk-sequences. Throughout the amount of detail was wondrous, yet woven into an enchanting construction which mixed humour with the magical […]. Whatever other musical delights the production offered, and there were plenty, I kept coming back to Jackson and the orchestra.”

Robert Hugill, Hänsel und Gretel / Grange Park Opera, Planet Hugill

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“The preponderance of high voice types – with only one male voice on stage – fills the score with lightness and air, as if illuminated from behind. These two components create a woozy, even uncanny, atmosphere, something cemented in the brilliant textural responsiveness of the ENO orchestra under George Jackson.”

Benjamin Poore, Hänsel und Gretel / Grange Park Opera, Bachtrack

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“Jennifer Pike delivered a truly spellbinding account, possessing an opulent tone when called for, sensitive and ethereal on other occasions, and rising to considerable heights of virtuosity and musicianship in the first-movement cadenza. She had the inestimable advantage of a conductor who likewise sees the work as genuinely symphonic – for, in those relatively lengthy orchestral passages in the first and second movements, George Jackson raised the stature of the music to a rarely-encountered level, absolutely enthralling from first bar to last.”

Robert Matthew-Walker, Classical Source

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“Overcoming the dry and rather forthright acoustics of Covent Garden’s St Paul’s Church with a perfect balance between all parts of the orchestra, up-and-coming young conductor George Jackson coaxed an appropriately dramatic rendering of this overture.”

John Pritchard, London Firebird Orchestra, Seen and Heard International

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“Conductor George Jackson coaxes much lithe and springy playing from the orchestra, ensuring that what the audience hears is magically in tune with that they see in this inventive, energetic and frequently revelatory production.”

William Ruff, Opera North / The Magic Flute, Nottingham Post

“Viel Anteil am Gelingen des Abends hatte Dirigent George Jackson mit den Musikern von Chor und Orchester der Kammeroper. Ein ausdrückliches, melodisch aufblühendes Klangbild.”

Bernhard Uske, Kammeroper Frankfurt / Pagliacci, Frankfurter Rundschau

George Jackson was born in London in July 1987. As the child of actor parents, he was encouraged to invent theatrical entertainments with his sister and their friends. Young George began playing violin at the age of seven, broadened his musical horizons as drummer and guitarist at high school in post-punk, rock and Irish folk bands and fell in love with classical music as a member of the Ealing Youth Orchestra. His open-minded formative development has cast a lasting influence over his versatility as a symphonic and operatic conductor, a champion of new work and a passionate explorer of symphonic scores by, among others, Mendelssohn, Schumann and their contemporaries.

Jackson read for a degree in music at Trinity College, Dublin, where he gained early experience as conductor of its chapel choir and his own contemporary music ensemble. He subsequently studied conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, developing all-round skills and heeding sound professorial advice to make haste slowly. In the later stages of his intensive five-year course, he received additional training at Weimar’s Franz Liszt Hochschule für Musik and took part in masterclasses with, among others, Bernard Haitink, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kurt Masur and David Robertson. He also gained invaluable insights while working as assistant to his mentors Robert Spano and Yves Abel.

Prizewinning success at the 2012 International Conducting Competition ‘Jeunesses Musicales’ in Bucharest led to Jackson’s professional debut with the Oltenia Philharmonic in Craiova, Romania. He continued his studies at the Lucerne Festival Academy, the Bayreuth Festival and, over two summers, at the Aspen Conducting Academy, where he won the 2015 Aspen Conducting Prize.

CALENDAR

Sunday 23 June, 6pm
Thursday 27 June, 6pm
Saturday 29 June, 6pm
Tuesday 2 July, 6pm
Friday 5 July, 6pm
Wednesday 10 July, 6pm

The Theatre in the Woods
West Horsley Place
Epsom Road
West Horsley
KT24 6AN
UK

Grange Park Opera

Engelbert Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel

Conductor: George Jackson
Director: Stephen Medcalf
Designer: Yannis Thavoris
Orchestra of English National Opera

Hansel: Caitlin Hulcup
Gretel: Soraya Mafi
Witch / Mother: Susan Bullock
Father: William Dazeley

4 August, 2019 9:30pm
Porto Antico, Genova, Italy

Orchestra della Fondazione Teatro Carlo Felice Genova

Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 (‘From the New World’)
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5

14 September, 2019 7pm
15 September, 2019 11am
Opéra national de Montpellier, 11 Boulevard Victor Hugo, 34000 Montpellier, France

Opéra Orchestre national Montpellier

Concert de rentrée

Ludwig van Beethoven: Overture ‘La Consécration de la maison’
Benjamin Britten: Suite on english folk tunes “A time there was… ”
Felix Mendelssohn: Symphonie n° 3 en la mineur “Scottish”

9 October, 2019 10am
Guildhall School of Music, London

London Symphony Orchestra / Guildhall School of Music

Side by Side

Benjamin Britten: Four Sea Interludes from ‘Peter Grimes’

24 November, 2019 8pm
Philharmonie Luxembourg, 1 Place de l’Europe, 1499 Luxembourg

Ensemble intercontemporain

Rainy Days Festival

Steve Reich: Piano Phase
Steve Reich: Eight Lines
Steve Reich: Reich/Richter (film de Gerhard Richter et Corinna Belz)

27 November, 2019 8:30pm
Cité de la musique – Philharmonie de Paris, France

Ensemble intercontemporain

Paris Autumn Festival

Benedict Mason: drawing tunes and fuguing photos
Rebecca Saunders: Scar pour ensemble (French Premiere)
James Dillon: Tanz/haus : triptych 2017, pour ensemble de chambre (French Premiere)

11 December, 2019 6:00pm
Huddersfield Town Hall, UK
22 December, 2019 6:00pm
Leeds Town Hall, UK

Orchestra of Opera North

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite
Howard Blake: The Snowman

10 January, 2019 7:30pm
National Concert Hall, Dublin

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Towards 2022

Boydell: In Memoriam Mahatma Gandhi
Ina Boyle: Psalm for Cello and Orchestra (Cello: Martin Johnson)
Ina Boyle: Elegy for Cello and Orchestra (Cello: Martin Johnson)
Stanford: Symphony No.3, ‘The Irish’

5 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 24 / 29 / 31 March 2020, 7pm
2 April 2020, 7pm

Wiener Kammeroper, Fleischmarkt 24, 1010 Wien, Austria

Theater an der Wien

Tscho Theissing: Genia (World Premiere)

Conductor: George Jackson
Director: Kateryna Sokolova
Designer: Erich Uiberlacker
Costumes: Alexandra Burgstaller
Lighting: Franz Tscheck
Orchestra: Vienna Chamber Orchestra

BEETHOVEN: Kristján Jóhannesson
ELISE: Jenna Siladie
JOHANN NEPOMUK MÄLZEL: Dumitru Madarašan
LEONHARD MÄLZEL: Quentin Desgeorges
ANTON SCHINDLER: Johannes Bamberger
GENIA: Ilona Revolskaya

2 May 2020, 8:30pm

St. Malo, Normandy, France

Opéra de Rouen

Festival ‘Classique au Large’, Saint-Malo
Soloist: Paul Meyer
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Clarinet Concerto in A major, KV.622
Lefrançois, Laurent : Clarinet concerto
Schubert, Franz : Symphony no.3 in D major, D.200

12 May 2020, 7:30pm

Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, France

Opéra de Rouen

Orchestre PasDeLoup
Soloist: Mathieu Esnult
Lefrançois, Laurent : Clarinet concerto
Rachmaninoff : Piano Concerto No. 2

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Contact

Jordi Martin Mont / jordi@maestroarts.com / +44 7934 568677
Sophie Farrell / sophie@maestroarts.com / +44 7788 284615
Silvia Paolucci / spaolucci@melosopera.com / +39 349 3002723
Markus Laska / mlaska@melosopera.com / +39 348 5278616

Website photography by:

Tim Dunk
A P Wilding