National Symphony Orchestra

Jonathon Heyward, conductor
Francesca Dego, violin
JUL 8 + 9 | 8 PM

Fate Now Conquers

Violin Concerto in A major, Op. 5, No. 2
Allegro moderato

Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92
Poco sostenuto — Vivace
Allegro con brio

Jonathon Heyward makes his Wolf Trap debut conducting the National Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, along with a piece by the Kennedy Center’s new Composer-in-Residence Carlos Simon. Italian violinist Francesca Dego also makes her Wolf Trap debut and joins the NSO for a performance of Bologne’s Violin Concerto in A major.


Originally trained as a cellist and chamber musician, Jonathon Heyward is forging a career as one of the most exciting young conductors on the international scene. Winner of the 2015 Besançon International Conducting Competition, Heyward was selected as a Los Angeles Philharmonic Dudamel Conducting Fellow for the 2017-2018 season, later stepping in to make his subscription debut with Hilary Hahn as part of the orchestra’s Bernstein @ 100 Celebration at Walt Disney Concert Hall. 

Named Chief Conductor Designate of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in 2019, a position that commenced in 2021, Heyward recently completed three years as Assistant Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra, conducting his first subscription concert with Benjamin Grosvenor in 2018. 

Heyward’s recent and forthcoming engagements include debut invitations with the London Symphony, BBC Symphony, Detroit Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Grant Park Music Festival, Antwerp Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Brussels Philharmonic, Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa in Lisbon, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Flanders Symphony, South Netherlands Philharmonic, and Phion, Orchestra of Gelderland & Overijssel. Other past highlights include concerts with the St. Petersburg Symphony, Basel Symphony, Prague Symphony, and Orchestre National de Lille. 

Equally at home on the opera stage, Heyward recently made his Royal Opera House debut with Hannah Kendall’s Knife of Dawn, having also conducted a Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra as well as the world premiere of Giorgio Battistelli’s new opera, Wake, for the Birmingham Opera Company. Heyward went on to take up the position of Assistant Conductor for both their opera department and the Boston Opera Collaborative, where he worked on such productions as La Bohème, Die Zauberflöte, and The Rape of Lucretia

In 2013 Heyward became the youngest ever semi-finalist at the Blue Danube International Opera Conducting Competition at the age of 21, and soon after was appointed Associate Director of the Hampstead Garden Opera Company in London. In 2016 he completed his postgraduate studies in conducting with Sian Edwards at the Royal Academy of Music, and in 2020 was named an Associate of the Royal Academy as well as a Sir Georg Solti Fellow.


Celebrated for her sonorous tone, compelling interpretations, and flawless technique, Francesca Dego is one of the most sought after young violinists on the international scene. Born in Lecco, Italy, to Italian and American parents, Dego regularly appears with major orchestras worldwide, and recent and forthcoming highlights include performances with the Philharmonia, Hallé, Ulster, Royal Philharmonic and Royal Scottish National Orchestras, Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan and Tokyo Symphony Orchestras, Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, and Teatro Carlo Felice Genova at St. Petersburg’s renowned Stars of the White Nights festival, to name a few. 

An outstanding collaborative artist, Dego thrives in chamber settings. Highlights of the 2020-2021 season for Dego and her regular recital parnter, pianist Francesca Leonardi, include performances at the Louvre in Paris, Lincoln Center in New York, Washington D.C.,and Siena, Italy. They will also perform the final concerts of their complete cycle of Beethoven’s violin sonatas at Unione Musicale, Torino. 

Recently signed to Chandos Records, Dego’s first disc on the label honours the legacy of Niccolò Paganini with a recording of works inspired by the great violinist and performed on his violin, the fabled “Il Cannone.” Past releases include her highly acclaimed first concerto disc featuring concertos by Paganini and Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari alongside the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Daniele Rustioni in 2017, the recital disc Suite Italienne, as well as a complete survey of the violin sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven and of Paganini’s Caprices, all for Deutsche Grammophon. 

Dego is the winner of numerous national and international competitions, and in 2008 attracted widespread attention for being the first Italian woman to win the renowned “Paganini Competition” in Genoa since 1961. She is a frequent contributor to specialist music magazines, penning a monthly column for Suonare News among others, and has written articles and opinion pieces for the BBC and Classical Music Magazines, The Strad, Musical Opinion, and Strings Magazine

Dego recently published her first book, Tra le Note. Classica: 24 chiavi di lettura, with Mondadori, in which she explores how classical music can be listened to and better understood today. Dego is based in London, and she plays on a precious Francesco Ruggeri violin (Cremona 1697).



Dan and Gayle D’Aniello,
Wolf Trap 2021 Season Underwriters

Deborah F. and David A. Winston,
Performance Sponsors