Principal Guest conductor
Michael Newnham is best known for his intense and inspiring conducting style, based on a deep knowledge of the score and informed by a strong interest in languages, cultures and history. A born communicator, his open and direct contact with musicians and audiences creates performances full of expression and energy. Mr. Newnham has conducted many orchestras and opera companies throughout Poland, Slovakia, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Korea, as well as his native Canada.
Mr. Newnham was Music Director of Symphony New Brunswick from 2009 – 2017. Under his tenure, the orchestra went through a period a strong artistic growth, premiering new works as well as introducing the music of composers such as Gustav Mahler to New Brunswick audiences.
Mr. Newnham is the Music Director of Orchestra Toronto as well as the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra. Musical mentoring of young musicians also plays a large role in his life. In 2002 he founded the Kawartha Youth Orchestra, and he has been on the faculty of Music at Port Milford for several years. He also taught for two years as Guest Professor and Orchestra Conductor at Taegu-Hyosung University in South Korea, and was conductor of the Warsaw Chamber Opera.
A graduate of the conducting class of Boguslaw Madey at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Poland, Michael Newnham also studied at the Indiana University of Music and at the University of Toronto. Mr. Newnham has received the “Order of Merit” from the Republic of Poland. He has conducted concert events marking the milestones of Pope John Paul II at Air Canada Centre and twice at Roy Thomson Hall, and conducted an acclaimed production of R. Murray Schafer’s “Patria: The Enchanted Forest”, in the Haliburton Forest.
Offstage, Michael listens to all kinds of music, likes to read, and gets around town on his bike or cross-country skis. He shares his home in Peterborough, Ontario with his wife Zuzanna, their two lovely daughters and two cats. Michael has a great passion for many things in life, not least of which is everything involved with roasting and brewing coffee. He hopes to get it right some day.