Harvard University’s organist, choirmaster and conductor always wants to be making music.
“The whole evening was presided over at the harpsichord by the musicianly and obviously skilled conductor Edward Elwyn Jones. He has become a major player in the Boston/Cambridge musical scene over recent years and every good thing one has heard about him seems to be true.” – Donald Teeters, Boston Music Intelligencer
Today, Athlone Artists is pleased to welcome conductor Edward Elwyn Jones to its roster of opera and concert artists, conductors and stage directors. Jones has served as Harvard University’s Gund University Organist and Choirmaster since 2003 and proudly wears many musical hats. The multifaceted musician enjoys a career as organist, choirmaster and conductor of choral, orchestral and operatic music. “I have really fought against specializing in only one thing,” Jones says. “There is a connectivity among all of the arts that informs the way I conduct.”
“You can’t think about music if you aren’t paying attention to visual arts and literature, and the whole context of a composition.” If one does not dig down into the historical experience, one can “miss the deeper thread of how the musical narrative works.”
Jones has brought this comprehensive approach to Harvard University’s Memorial Church, where he leads the 180-year old Harvard University Choir in its daily choral services, broadcasts, tours, commissions and recordings, as well as acting as Music Director of the Harvard Radcliffe Chorus and playing organ for Harvard University services and events. In addition to performances, he has overseen the publication of a new university hymnal, the installation of two new pipe organs in the Memorial Church, and has commissioned works from some of America’s most prominent contemporary composers, including Alice Parker, Daniel Pinkham and Emma Lou Diemer.
Recently appointed Music Director of Lowell House Opera – New England’s longest-running opera company – Jones is a frequent collaborator with Yale’s Schola Cantorum and has appeared as a guest conductor with Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, Boston Camerata, Emmanuel Music (Boston), Longwood Symphony Orchestra, the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra, Iceland’s Reykjavic Summer Opera Festival, Opera Boston, Harvard Early Music Society, and Mannes Opera. When directing Grand Harmonie from the fortepiano, The Boston Globe declared “The orchestra was tight and energetic…Conductor Edward Elwyn Jones garnished the overall brisk pace with enough lilt to keep the phrases airborne.”
Other musical posts held by Jones include Music Director of Intermezzo Opera (2011-2014), Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master of Opera Boston (2006- 2011), Music Director of Reykjavic Summer Opera Festival (2002-03), Assistant Organist of Christ Church United Methodist on Park Avenue in New York City (2000-2003) and Chorus master and Assistant Conductor of Regina Opera Company (2001-03). A native of Wales, Edward Jones studied music at Cambridge University, where he was Organ Scholar of Emmanuel College, and served as conductor of three university orchestras. He earned his Masters of Music in orchestral conducting from Mannes College of Music in New York City, where he was the recipient of the Felix Salzer Memorial Award, and has worked with William Christie, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Christopher Hogwood, Nicholas McGegan and Gil Rose.
“I have known Ed since 2006, when he was the Chorus Master for Opera Boston,” says Athlone Artists’ President Miguel Rodriguez. “Over the years, I have been impressed with his expert facility to move through the repertory, from choral music to opera, to symphonic works and even new works. I’m thrilled to welcome him to the roster!”
Jones jumped at the chance to join the Athlone roster as well. “I like the way Miguel thinks,” Jones says. “I’m really excited about the way he has put this roster together.” Jones is looking forward to adding new works to his portfolio, and to having more opportunities during vacations or summer months to “work through a musical score from the very beginning of the process through the performance. Of course, I love having time with my kids and having some time off to think, but I always want to be making music,” he says.