Born in Romania, Uri Mayer grew up in Israel, where he studied viola and conducting at the University of Tel Aviv. On the recommendation of Leonard Bernstein, he continued to further his education at the Juilliard School of Music in New York; there he was awarded a Post Graduate Diploma with a double major in orchestral conducting and viola. An accomplished violist he won prizes at the Munich and Geneva International Viola Competitions and was Principal Viola of the American Symphony in New York under Leopold Stokowski and the Montreal Symphony under Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos and Charles Dutoit. He has also received important prizes at the International Conducting Competitions in Budapest, Hungary and Katowice, Poland.
Mayer served as Principal Conductor of the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra in Osaka, Japan from 1994 to 2000. In 1999 he completed eight year tenure as Artistic Director of the Israel Sinfonietta. Maestro Mayer was the Edmonton Symphony’s Music Director from 1981 to 1995 and Orchestra London’s (Canada) Principal Conductor and Music Director from 1988 until 1994. He is teaching conducting at Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music since 2006.
A resident of Toronto, he appeared regularly during the years 1996-2003 as guest conductor for the National Ballet of Canada and has conducted many productions including Coppelia, Desir, Manon, Serenade, Tales of Arabian Nights, Swan Lake and Nutcracker.
Mayer has appeared as guest conductor in more than 20 countries. Noted for his strong command of a broad repertoire, he has conducted in the past several years the philharmonic orchestras of Hungary, Israel, Slovakia, Belgrade, Brabants, Sofia and the Northern German Radio in Hannover, the Budapest, Maastricht, Odense, Montreal, Utah, Honolulu, SABC Johannesburg, NHK Tokyo and Osaka Symphonies, the London Mozart Players and English Symphony Orchestra.
Uri Mayer has recorded for the Arabesque, CBC, Denon Japan, Hungaroton and Koch labels. He has also taped numerous concerts for television companies in Canada, Germany, Hungary, Israel and Japan. Some of the distinguished soloists who have collaborated with him include Ely Ameling, Kathleen Battle, Frederica von Stade, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Yo-Yo Ma, Janos Starker, Mstislav Rostropovich, Emanuel Ax and Andras Schiff.
Principal Pops Conductor
Brian Jackson holds a Master of Arts in Music Theory, History and Composition from Oxford University. He began his conducting career after immigrating to Canada in 1968, becoming the country’s youngest Music Director when he led the Peterborough Symphony. Maestro Jackson has since been Music Director of the International Symphony, the Kingston Symphony and Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor to Orchestra London Canada.
Jackson currently conducts Orchestra London Canada, the Victoria Symphony and the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony. An expert in choral music, he has been Music Director of the Victoria and Kingston Choral Societies. London Pro Musica won the CBC Choir of the Year Award under his leadership. Jackson also conducts opera, ballet, educational and young peoples’ concerts. He has taught at Lakefield College School and lectured at Trent, Western, Concordia, McGill and Queen’s Universities. He is the only Canadian conductor who plays and directs concertos from the keyboard.
This season Maestro Jackson celebrates his 35th year with Orchestra London Canada.
Brian Jackson is generously supported by Gary Petch in memory of Bev Petch.