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27-Year-Old Nova Scotian Appointed National Arts Centre Orchestra’s First Resident Conductor

By Sara Schabas on July 8, 2024

Henry Kennedy
Henry Kennedy (Photo: Curtis Perry)

Henry Kennedy has been appointed as the Canadian National Arts Centre Orchestra’s first-ever resident conductor. His appointment followed a multi-round application and audition process.

The scoop: On July 4th, Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) announced in a press release that Henry Kennedy will be its first ever resident conductor. Kennedy will begin his position at the beginning of the 2024-2025 season, which he will hold for the following two seasons. Henry Kennedy was chosen from a pool of over 50 applicants, which was narrowed down to five finalists. He will assist the NACO’s music director, Alexander Shelley, who made the final decision.

Background info: Henry Kennedy hails from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, and completed his studies at London’s Royal College of Music. At 27, Kennedy has already garnered an impressive array of conducting mentors. They include John Eliot Gardiner, who Kennedy assisted on a European tour of Berlioz’s Les Troyens, Riccardo Muti, with whom he studied and assisted in Milan, as well as Marin Alsop, Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardner, Hannu Lintu, Jukka Pekka Saraste, Thomas Sondergard, and John Wilson. Kennedy is also the founder and conductor of the UK’s Resonate Symphony.

With bases on both sides of the pond, Kennedy seems poised to join the ranks of Canada’s other leading music directors who regularly hop between countries. They include the Victoria Symphony’s Christian Kluxen, the Toronto Symphony’s Gustavo Gimeno, the National Youth Orchestra’s Naomi Woo, Winnipeg’s Daniel Raiskin, and of course, Orchestre Métropolitain’s Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Let’s hope Kennedy’s collecting air miles.

Sara Schabas
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