THE excellent Haffner Orchestra opens it 2017/2018 season of concerts at Lancaster University's Great Hall on Saturday, November 11 (7.30pm), with a new musical director on the podium.

Jonathan Lo - who picks up the baton from Justin Doyle - is a prolific and sought after conductor and as well as Haffner holds a number of other prestigious posts: Conducting Fellow for Birmingham Royal Ballet; principal conductor for both the Manchester Chamber Choir and and New Bristol Sinfonia and principal guest conductor of China's Xi’an Symphony Orchestra. He also conducts regularly for the Birmingham Royal Ballet and Rambert Dance Company.

Born in 1987, Jonathan read music at Oxford University before going on to study conducting at Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music on a major scholarship, graduating with distinction. He landed his first music directorship while at university, when he was appointed to the Oxford University Philharmonia after winning the university’s conducting competition at the age of 18.

Jonathan maintains his passion for working with young musicians through his work as musical director of the King’s College London Symphony Orchestra and the University of Southampton Sinfonietta. He was also senior lecturer in conducting at the Leeds College of Music and continues to teach privately.

Led by Julian Cann, the Haffner - which takes its name from one of Mozart’s patrons in Salzburg, and his 35th Symphony - is Lancaster’s own symphony orchestra, comprising amateur players and local professionals.

?The Haffner's debut performance was in March 1976. Since, it has become one of the region's most respected ensembles and has been supported by many well-known professional musicians, including the eminent Sir Charles Groves, who was the orchestra’s first president and conducted the Haffner at its 10th anniversary concert. These days, world renowned cellist, Raphael Wallfisch, is the Haffner president, sharing the stage as soloist with the orchestra, notably at its 25th anniversary concert and again in 2012.

In the soloist spotlight for ?the November 11 concert will be popular violinist Gina McCormack in a programme that includes Ives' The Unanswered Question and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major.

Tickets are available on 01524-582394 or online at