about jonathan

"Jonathan Palmer Lakeland (conductor) unleashed a telling, intoxicating sound with the Wiener Kammerorchester." -Renate Wagner



British-American musician Jonathan Palmer Lakeland is a conductor, vocal coach, and collaborative pianist whose work has been described as “pointed and dramatic” (Robert Hugill, PlanetHugill), and as “wordless eloquence…he supported the singers with both brio and sensitivity, clearly relishing his involvement in the dramatic narrative” (Margaret Tattersall, The Herald, Stratford-upon-Avon). Jonathan works as a conductor and coach for opera companies in Europe and North America. He also holds a position as Associate Director and vocal coach at the Georg Solti Accademia in Italy. As a collaborative pianist, he has been heard on many of the world’s great stages from London’s Wigmore Hall to Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, with singers including Dame Felicity Lott, Claire Barnett-Jones, Elin Manahan Thomas, and many more.

In the 2021/22 season, Jonathan made his Vienna opera conducting debut to rave reviews with a new production of Tobias Picker's "Therese Raquin" at Theatre an der Wien/the Kammeroper. Other recent and upcoming performance engagements include with Theater an der Wien, Northern Ireland Opera, Royal Academy Opera, Tanglewood Music Center/Opera, with Dame Felicity Lott at Champs Hill (Sussex), Wigmore Hall, the Oxford Lieder Festival, the Leeds Lieder Festival, SJE Arts (Oxford), and more.

Jonathan began conducting pit orchestras at the age of 14, and spent his early professional years conducting pit orchestras, arranging, and composing theatre music. In 2008, he began studying piano accompanying and conducting at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, during which time he also served as Assistant Conductor of the Princeton University Sinfonia, and for Westminster Opera Theatre and for CoOPERAtive, while a conducting student of David Gilbert (Manhattan School of Music).


Jonathan received his master's degree in piano accompanying at the Royal Academy of Music in London studying under Malcolm Martineau, Julius Drake, James Baillieu, and Michael Dussek. He attended the Academy as a recipient of multiple scholarships and awards, including the American Society for the Royal Academy of Music scholarship, the Frank Britton award, the Elsie Doris Prater award, and the Nora Naismith Scholarship. During this time, he also studied at the Georg Solti Accademia in Venice, Italy with Maestro Richard Bonynge, Jonathan Papp, and Annette Saunders.

In the summer of 2018, Jonathan held the Billy Joel Keyboard Fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, MA. While a fellow, Jonathan served as assistant conductor of Leonard Bernstein's opera "A Quiet Place", which was part of Tanglewood's celebration of the Bernstein centenary. During this time, he was taught and coached by Roger Vignoles, Dr Alan Smith, Dawn Upshaw, Stephanie Blythe, and Peter Serkin, among others.


As a freelance coach, Jonathan has prepared singers for roles with Glyndebourne, Oper Frankfurt, National Theater Mannheim, Kentucky Opera, Northern Ireland Opera, and many more. He has held vocal coach positions at a number of institutions including: Royal Academy Opera, the Georg Solti Accademia, and Westminster Choir College, among others.

Jonathan received a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance, Accompanying, and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. Here, he studied piano with Dr. James Goldsworthy and Dr. JJ Penna.