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 Cover Conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra. Of his recent debut 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.”

In addition to his work with the NSO, John is the Assistant Conductor of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and the Artistic Director and Conductor of Gourmet Symphony. Devlin has also recently guest conducted the Columbus Symphony, the American Repertory Ballet, the Omaha Symphony and the American Youth Symphonic Orchestra. With these, and other orchestras, he has conducted at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Music Center at Strathmore.

Devlin’s mission as a conductor is to deliver concerts at the highest artistic level and that frame orchestral music in innovative ways. His leadership has inspired many forward-thinking concepts such as Gourmet Symphony, Go-Go Symphony, Seamless Symphony, Interactive Symphony and the New Retro Project.

These collaborations have paired artists like Joshua Bell with gourmet chefs, and funk legends such as Bootsy Collins, George Clinton and Larry Graham, with symphony orchestras for the first time. Each program 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. Gourmet Symphony’s commitment to helping those in need is carried out through the “Taste Your Music” program, which brings monthly musical and culinary experiences to the homeless in Washington, D.C. And, Devlin’s collaborations with organizations such as the Refugee Orchestra Project and Concerts for Causes have provided support to those displaced by humanitarian crisis and allowed for students in Washington to be provided with cost-free musical instruments.

Devlin has also contributed to his local musical community in a variety of ways. John has served on the orchestral and conducting faculties at the University of Maryland School of Music, his alma mater. He also volunteers 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 Gourmet Symphony and provides methodologies that might serve as a model for other innovators.

Devlin completed his master’s and doctoral degrees during seven years of work with masterteacher James Ross. Subsequently, his early professional career has been shaped by his time as an assistant for Gianandrea Noseda, Christoph Eschenbach, Rossen Milanov, and Victoria Gau.





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