Jack Symonds is a composer, conductor and accompanist, and the Artistic Director of the Sydney Chamber Opera. He studied composition at the Royal College of Music, London, under Kenneth Hesketh and at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he received the university medal. Trained also as a pianist and trombonist, he gives premieres of many new works, as well as frequently conducting his own and others’ music, including Britten's Owen Wingrave (2013, Australian premiere) and The Turn of the Screw (2010), Dusapin's Passion and O Mensch! (2016, Sydney Festival, Australian premieres), Romitelli's An Index of Metals with Ensemble Offspring (2015), Benjamin's Into the Little Hill and Kurtág's ... pas à pas - nulle part ... (2014, Sydney Festival). He has also conducted the world premieres of Elliott Gyger's Fly Away Peter and Michael Smetanin's Mayakovsky.
Significant composition premieres include Climbing Toward Midnight, a chamber opera reimagining the second act of Wagner's Parsifal; a piece for New York's JACK Quartet, the Dostoevsky opera, Notes from Underground (2011, and rewritten in 2016 for Carriageworks); a large-scale work for viola and piano, Song Cycle, written for violist James Wannan (2011); Sunless Communion (2013) for the Composers Ensemble at Dartington, where he studied with Detlev Glanert; as well as new pieces for, among others, Timo-Veikko Valve and Jane Sheldon.