Versatility, passion and innovation are the hallmarks of American conductor Janna Hymes. Renowned for her inspiring performances, musical depth and energetic presence both on and off the podium, she has developed a reputation as an exciting, detailed communicator. Praised by the press as “an architect, a builder in sound, a conductor with an overall view who never misses details,” Ms. Hymes is Artistic Director of Indiana’s Carmel Symphony Orchestra (CSO) since 2017 and was recently appointed Artistic Director of the Carmel Music and Film Festival which she helped to launch. She served as Music Director of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) from 2004 to 2019, when she celebrated the WSO’s 35th anniversary and her 15th and final season. A popular guest conductor, Ms. Hymes continues to expand her relationships with orchestras nationwide.
Recent performance highlights include guest engagements with the Savannah Symphony, (GA), Venice Symphony (FL), Roanoke Symphony Orchestra (VA), the Portland Symphony Orchestra (ME); serving as Artist in Residence at Colby College; leading the Williamsburg Symphony on its first international tour; conducting the Maine Pro Music Orchestra as part of the festivities celebrating the town of Rockport, Maine’s 125th anniversary, and opening the Macon Symphony Orchestra’s (GA) season. Ms. Hymes is a frequent guest conductor at the Sewanee Music Festival in Tennessee.
Among the orchestras that Ms. Hymes has guested with are the Houston, Indianapolis, Oregon, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Hartford (CT), Madison (WI), Florida West Coast, Stamford, Harrisburg (PA), Spokane (WA), Richmond (VA), Springfield (MA), Bozeman (MT), Chappaqua Chamber (NY), Bangor (ME) and Omaha symphony orchestras, as well as the San Francisco Women’s Philharmonic, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the Florida Orchestra. Internationally, she has led the Costa Rica National Symphony (where she has been a frequent guest) the Delta Ensemble of Holland (where she has toured Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague), the National Orchestre de Lyon, Besancon Chamber Orchestra and the Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico.
Ms. Hymes' previous posts include Music Director of the Maine Grand Opera, Associate Conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony, Resident Conductor of the Charlotte Symphony and Music Director of the Columbus Women’s Orchestra, the Cincinnati Composers’ Guild and the I Solisti Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. She has served as Assistant Conductor of the Canton Symphony Orchestra (OH) and the Teatro Massimo Opera House in Palermo, Italy, and as a frequent guest of the Messiaen Academy in Zwolle, Holland. Ms. Hymes also founded and served as Music Director of the Maine Pro Musica Orchestra, a professional orchestra in Midcoast Maine that she launched in 2008.
In addition to her professional conducting career, Ms. Hymes is a frequent guest speaker. She has served on the music faculty of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, University of Akron and Butler University in Indianapolis.
Born in New York City, Janna Hymes is a Fulbright scholar, recipient of a 1999 Geraldine C. and Emory M. Ford Foundation Grant, and a prizewinner of the 1998 International Conducting Competition in Besancon, France. She studied under such prominent conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Gustav Meier, Otto Werner-Mueller and Gunther Schuller, and holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati. She also studied at the Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival, the Festival at Sandpoint (ID), and the Conductor’s Guild Institute.