Jonathan Govias (BMus ’98)

Jonathan Andrew Govias (BMus ’98) dove head first into his professional career after graduating from the UVic School of Music in 1998. He was appointed music director of a professional orchestra at the age of 22, has since earned a Doctorate in orchestral conducting, and performed with orchestras on four continents, including a June 2009 debut with Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. His achievements on the podium have been further recognized by invitations to elite masterclasses by conductors Kurt Masur, Ivan Fischer, Gustav Meier, David Zinman and Marin Alsop.
A consummate educator, his approach to teaching, public speaking and writing –regardless of audience – is identical to his philosophy of working with young orchestras: to illuminate even the most complex of concepts, musical or otherwise in simple, experiential and surprisingly relevant ways. Since October 2010 he has given keynote addresses at highly prestigious concert venues, public symposia and academic conferences around the world, including SouthBank Centre in London, and worked with youth orchestras across the Americas and in Britain. His articles in the same time span include more than fourteen in various international print publications on social music theory and practice, including contributions to teaching and music therapy journals; the only analytical text on el Sistema specifically endorsed by Maestro José Antonio Abreu; and a contribution to Early Music on performance practice issues in the music of Brahms.


A recipient of the Priddy Fellowship in Arts Leadership, the Reinhard Mohn Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship, and a member of the inaugural class of Abreu Fellows at the New England Conservatory, Jonathan is also a leading international consultant on organizational, strategic, entrepreneurial and pedagogical practices for social music initiatives, with an emphasis on programs inspired by Venezuela’s el Sistema. His international leadership experience, in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, combined with his outstanding academic credentials enables him to provide expert, highly informed guidance to organizations around the world with great cultural sensitivity.