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Meet the Artistic Partners

Northwest Sinfonietta Artistic Partners

During the orchestra's 25th anniversary in 2015-16, the ensemble made a bold change to a model of leadership which brings a diverse group of musical leaders to partner with the members of the orchestra.  Through the shared guidance of an Artistic Vision committee of performers, board and community members, and conductors, each Sinfonietta season is designed to highlight the many talents of the musicians who join together on stage.  As one of the first orchestras in America- and the first on the West Coast- to adopt this model, Northwest Sinfonietta is leading the way in developing new structures to present high quality classical music while engaging communities large and small and reinvigorating the concert experience. 

David Lockington, Principal Artistic Partner - click for full bio

Maestro Lockington joined the Sinfonietta as a founding Artistic Partner in 2015, and was announced as the new Principal Artistic Partner in 2018.  In this new role, he will continue to lead concert programs in the coming seasons as well as offer greater leadership in overseeing the artistic growth and evolution of the orchestra.  With the stellar reception from audience members and performers alike, the Sinfonietta is glad to welcome him to this new role and continue the partnership in the seasons of music to come.

Over the past thirty five years, David Lockington has developed an impressive conducting career in the United States.  A native of Great Britain, he served as the Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony from January 1999 to May 2015, and is currently the orchestra's Conductor Laureate.  He has held the position of Music Director with the Modesto Symphony since May 2007 and in March 2013, Mr. Lockington was appointed Music Director of the Pasadena Symphony.  He has a close relationship with the Orquestra Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias in Spain, where he was the orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor from 2012 through 2016.

In addition to his current posts, since his arrival to the United States in 1978 Mr. Lockington has held positions with several other American orchestras, including serving as Assistant Conductor of the Denver Symphony Orchestra and Opera Colorado, and Assistant and Associate Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  In May 1993 he accepted the position of Music Director of the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, assumed the title of Music Director of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra in September 1995, and was Music Director of the Long Island Philharmonic for the 96/97 through 99/2000 seasons.

Yaniv Attar, Artistic Partner - click for full bio 

Maestro Attar joined the orchestra as a guest conductor in November 2017, in a program featuring Beethoven's Eroica symphony and a contemporary concerto for Cello and Narrator by Sharon Farber, telling the story of Holocaust survivor-turned-war hero Curt Lowens.  He was named as the newest Artistic Partner in 2018 and will join the orchestra for a concert in March 2019, including Mendelssohn's beloved 'Italian' Symphony.

A native of Israel, Yaniv Attar is the 1st prize winner of the Duna Szimfonikus Conducting Competition Budapest, two-time recipient of the Georg Solti Foundation US Award, and the 2009 Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Award. Attar is the Music Director of the Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra and the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra in Bellingham. Highlights of past seasons included collaborations with artists such as James Ehnes, Alex Klein, Jennifer Koh, and Gil Shaham. Prior to his current music directorships, Attar was Assistant Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.

Drawn to orchestral conducting from early age, Attar has studied with Israel Edelson in Jerusalem, Virginia Allen at the Juilliard School in New York and Neil Thomson at the Royal College of Music in London, where he was also the Associate Conductor and co-founder of the Tempus Chamber Orchestra. In 2008, Attar earned his Doctor of Music degree from McGill University where he studied under the tutelage of Alexis Hauser. Attar also studied with Kurt Masur, Leonard Slatkin, Janos Fürst, David Effron, Donald Thulean and Michael Jurowski. 

Attar is also an accomplished classical guitarist, having studied under Sharon Isbin at Juilliard, and for whom he served as teaching assistant at the Aspen Music Festival from 2003 to 2005. Attar was the first guitarist to win the Aviv Competition Prize in Israel and the Concerto Competition at the Juilliard School. He lives in Bellingham with his wife Meredith and two children, Jonah and Lyla.

Past Artistic Partners:

Eric Jacobsen (founding Artistic Partner: 2015-2018) - click for full bio

Hailed by the New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor and cellist Eric Jacobsen has built a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and collaborative projects. As co-founder and Artistic Director of the adventurous orchestra The Knights and a founding member of the genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider, Jacobsen, along with his brother, violinist Colin Jacobsen, was awarded a prestigious United States Artists Fellowship in 2012.

In the 2014-15 season Jacobsen celebrates his first season as Music Director of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony and Artistic Partner with the Northwest Sinfonietta. He also looks forward to guest conducting the Orlando Philharmonic, Deutsche Philharmonie Merck, and Silk Road Ensemble, besides touring with The Knights in the U.S. and Europe. Jacobsen serves on the faculty of New York University, conducting its orchestras and teaching both cello and chamber music. An avid educator, he has also led collaborative concerts in which Children’s Orchestra Society students sit alongside members of The Knights.

Joseph Swensen (founding Artistic Partner: 2015-2018) - click for full bio

Mr. Swensen enjoyed a highly acclaimed career as a solo violinist and chamber musician before turning to conducting. He attended Juilliard as a student of the renowned pedagogue Dorothy Delay, studied chamber music with Robert Mann, Leonard Rose and Felix Galimir and composition with David Diamond and Vincent Persechetti, and also studied privately with Isaac Stern over a ten year period. Currently Conductor Emeritus of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Joseph Swensen was Principal Guest Conductor & Artistic Adviser of the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris from 2009-2012, Principal Conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra from 1996-2005, Principal Conductor of the Malmö Opera (2007-2011), and Principal Guest Conductor of the Lahti Symphony and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

An active guest conductor, Mr. Swensen has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Toronto, St. Louis, Rochester, Colorado and New World symphonies among others in North America as well as the London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra (London), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Oslo and Stockholm Philharmonics, Finnish and Swedish Radio Orchestras and the Orchestra of Toulouse, where he recently completely his first Mahler Symphony cycle. Mr. Swensen will also be one of three Artistic Partners with the Northwest Sinfonietta in Washington during the 15/16 season.

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