Conductor Jonathan Stockhammer is sitting down to a late breakfast in a London hotel. He’s wearing flip-flops and a pink t-shirt. Set out in front of him are a smoked salmon sandwich, a green veggie smoothie and a cup of coffee. He was out celebrating the success of his last concert with his musicians until 2 o’clock in the morning. The concert was a mix of classical music and pop and featured up-and-coming musicians from the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie symphony and Imogen Heap in Westminster Central Hall. It was a journey between the musical worlds.
On the eve of the concert, Stockhammer sports a dark tuxedo and shiny black shoes. He stands to the right of the stage, waiting for his entrance. He looks meditative as he stares out into the void. He was so focused on his quest for the ultimate sound experience and for the perfect concert that he forgot to eat. As his name rings out from the stage, the audience begins to applaud. Stockhammer snaps out of his trance. With a spring in his step, he makes his way to the conductor’s stand.
Stockhammer is considered to be one of Germany’s most experimental conductors. Among the American-born conductor’s credits is a concert with the Pet Shop Boys and the Dresden Sinfoniker orchestra, who were playing on the balconies of a communist-era apartment building, which he conducted from a crane. He has a passion for challenges and lives for innovation culture.
He was introduced to classical music at a very young age with a father who played the viola and a flutist mother. At his parents’ request, he first studied in Boston before submitting to the irresistible call of music.