Music Director Michael Newnham

Publicity photo by Bo Huang.

Michael Newnham

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.

Along with being Music Director of Orchestra Toronto, he is also Music Director of the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra, and also held that title with Symphony New Brunswick, Camerata NB (2009-2018). Newnham has been instrumental in bringing these ensembles to new artistic heights and raising their profile on the provincial and national level.

Along with his appearances in his native Canada, Newnham has also appeared at the helm of many orchestras and opera companies throughout Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Italy and South Korea.

Endowed with a special passion and gift for working with young musicians, Michael founded the Kawartha Youth Orchestra in 2002, and has been a faculty member as conductor and chamber music coach at Music at Port Milford for several years. His involvement in educating young musicians is not limited to Canada. He spent two years as Guest Professor and Orchestra Conductor at Taegu-Hyosung University in South Korea.

Originally from Hamilton, Newnham is a graduate of the conducting class of prof. Bogusław Madey at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Poland. He also studied at the Indiana University of Music and at the University of Toronto. A recipient of several awards, including the "Order of Merit" from the Republic of Poland, the "Best Conductor" Award from the East Slovakian State Opera, Newnham was recently granted the Turzanski Award for his services in promoting Polish music and culture in Canada.

Collaboration with Canadian composers has been central to Newnham's life in music. In the summer of 2005, he was specially honoured to have been chosen by R. Murray Schafer to be the Music Director of an acclaimed production of Schafer’s “Patria: The Enchanted Forest”.

Before taking up the baton, Newnham began his musical career as a trombonist, playing with the Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphonies, as well as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

He currently lives in Peterborough with his wife, cellist Zuzanna, two daughters, and four cats, and is a home barista (not for the cats, though).