John's passion for presenting music both old and new in unexpected ways delights critics who call the performances “powerhouses of unstoppable momentum… that bring sold-out houses to their feet, cheering.” (Washington Post)



Devlin has been named a finalist in the Music Director search for the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. In the 2018-2019 season, John will conduct the WSO twice as the search reaches its final stage. In March, he will lead a subscription concert featuring bass, Soloman Howard. In April, he will lead a Pops program, collaborating once again with Broadway star Sierra Boggess

Devlin has been named the Music Director of the Hawaii Youth Symphony. He will take the helm of the top symphony orchestra in the HYS program, and guide the artistic efforts of the organization’s seven orchestras that serve 650 students each season.

Devlin has been named the Artistic Director of the Pacific Music Institute, an international festival held in Honolulu each summer. He will conduct the festival’s top orchestra and oversee its diverse musical offerings. 

In June, 2018, Devlin ended his three-year tenure as the Cover Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Assistant Conductor of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra.  

Devlin recently gave a TED Talk on the work that led to the creation of Gourmet Symphony, of which he is the Founding Artistic Director. You can view the eight-minute video for free here. The discussion analyzes the standard concert format, and then details the innovative steps that Gourmet Symphony  has taken to reimagine the symphonic experience for its audiences. 





John Devlin is the newly appointed Music Director of the Hawaii Youth Symphony and Artistic Director of the Pacific Music Institute. He was also recently named a finalist in the Music Director search of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, where he will conduct two subscription concerts during the 2018-19 season. 

From 2015-2018, John was the Cover Conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra. Of his debut concert with the NSO and soloist Joshua Bell, Anne Midgette of the Washington Post wrote that Devlin “led the evening with flair … and was visibly in his element.” During those same years, John was the Assistant Conductor of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and the Artistic Director and Conductor of Gourmet Symphony. With these, and other orchestras, Devlin has conducted at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and at the Music Center at Strathmore.

Devlin is also a leader in designing concerts that frame orchestral music in new and innovative ways. His thinking has inspired many forward-looking concepts such as Gourmet Symphony, of which he is the Founding Artistic Director, Go-Go Symphony, Seamless Symphony, Interactive Symphony, and the New Retro Project

These collaborations have paired artists like Joshua Bell with gourmet chefs, and legendary musicians such as Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, and Larry Graham with symphony orchestras for the first time. Each reflects Devlin’s mission of making classical music attainable and engaging for all audiences. The Washington Post has hailed these projects as “refreshingly unfamiliar” events that deliver “a new audience for classical music,” and have brought “the sold-out house to its feet, cheering.”

John also cares deeply about the role that music can play in the wider world as a force for good. Examples of this include: Gourmet Symphony’s “Taste Your Music” program, which brings monthly musical and culinary experiences to the homeless in Washington, DC; appearances with Concerts for Causes, an organization that provides cost-free musical instruments to DC-area students in-need; and collaborations with ensembles like the Refugee Orchestra Project, which provides support to those displaced by humanitarian crisis. 

Devlin is also committed to serving the arts community in a variety of ways. During his time in Washington he volunteered annually as a grant panelist for the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Nationally, he has served on the Board of Directors for the Conductors Guild and is an active member of the College Orchestra Directors Association and the League of American Orchestras. He has also been the featured speaker at a TEDx Symposium, where he delivered the keynote TED talk on “Innovation in Crowded Marketplaces.” The talk, available for free on YouTube, details the thinking that led to the creation of Gourmet Symphony.

A passionate educator, John is an active conductor of outstanding high school and collegiate ensembles. He held three-year terms as the Music Director of both the McLean Youth Orchestra and the Youth Orchestras of Prince William in Virginia. Devlin has also served on the faculty at the University of Maryland School of Music as the Assistant Director of Orchestral Studies and been selected as the conductor of numerous honor ensembles, including the Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and Maine All-State Orchestras.

Devlin completed his master’s and doctoral degrees during seven years of work with master-teacher James Ross at the University of Maryland School of Music. His undergraduate degree is from Emory University where he graduated summa cum laude with a double major in Music and Latin. His early professional career has been shaped by his time as an assistant for Gianandrea NosedaChristoph EschenbachRossen Milanov, and Victoria Gau





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