john lidfors conductor

“Music for me is about discovering its story, traveling its journey and engaging the listener in an unexpectedly arresting experience.”

jesus and the storm john lidfors


John Lidfors' newest choral composition “Jesus and the Storm”
communicates with us on two different levels.
First, it relays the well-known Bible passage found in the gospel of Mark: the account of Jesus in the boat with his disciples as a perilous storm rages.
On another level, it speaks to us directly in our search for hope amidst a world-changing global pandemic.

Explore "Jesus and the Storm" here →


john lidfors portrait

John Lidfors distinguishes himself as a conductor of penetrative and sensitive musicianship exhibiting an uncommon versatility across the orchestral and vocal spectrum. A 2019 CSO Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition finalist, he currently works out of Los Angeles as a freelance conductor. Previously he served on the conducting staff of the Bochum Symphony Orchestra and Bochum Philharmonic Choir.

As a musician John Lidfors takes a special interest in the works of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Rachmaninoff and Pärt. His regard for performance practice across all periods of music and his conviction of the interpreter’s creative role in giving sound to the composer’s work are central to his musicianship.

In his work with the Bochum Symphony Orchestra John Lidfors displayed flexibility in diverse musical styles and formats: from symphonic repertoire and oratorios to family concerts featuring Grieg, Roussel and klezmer music as well as symphonic rock and pop concerts. Highlights of his tenure in Bochum also include stepping in short-notice to lead multiple rehearsals of Mahler’s 9th Symphony for a CD-recording and concert tour to South Korea.

& Choirs

In the orchestral field John Lidfors has performed with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Gstaad Festival Orchestra, the South Denmark Philharmonic, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra, the Magdeburgische Philharmonie, the Brandenburger Symphoniker and the Bach-Collegium Stuttgart. Aside from the concert stage he has also worked with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Komische Oper Berlin, the Staatstheater Cottbus, the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt and the Colorado Symphony.

Equally proficient in choral music John Lidfors has led performances of choral-orchestral works including Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Requiem, Händel’s Messiah, Honegger’s King David, Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, as well as numerous a cappella works such as Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli. As a fellow of the German Music Council’s Conducting Forum he has worked with the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir, WDR Radio Choir Cologne, the Gaechinger Cantorey of the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart and the Philharmonic Choir of Berlin. Additionally, he has performed with the Berlin Radio Choir, ChorWerk Ruhr and the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus.

john lidfors headshot

Schumann - Symphony No. 4

“What especially appeals to me about conducting is the way I can impact the musicians’ playing through my gestures as if I were a potter shaping a vessel of sound.”


john lidfors conducting orchestra
Deepening his fascination with Italian opera John Lidfors studied with Riccardo Muti at the 2018 Riccardo Muti Italian Opera Academy in Ravenna, Italy, focusing on Verdi’s Macbeth. In Bochum he has assisted on staged productions of Parsifal and Hänsel & Gretel. Previously, he served as assistant conductor of the Aspen Opera Company during the 2016 Aspen Conducting Academy. In 2017 he was closely involved in preparing the world premiere of the chamber opera Caliban by Moritz Eggert in a production of the Amsterdam-based company Operafront with Lotte de Beer, Steven Sloane and the Ensemble Asko|Schönberg. Through the International Conducting Academy Berlin he has also conducted opera excerpts by Mozart and Puccini with the Komische Oper Berlin and Staatstheater Cottbus.
john lidfors walking streets

& Education

Descended from several generations of visual artists, John Lidfors was born to American parents living in Germany. He learned piano and violin from a young age and later became a violinist and concertmaster in the Bavarian State Youth Orchestra. There he had the opportunity to play under maestros such as Mariss Jansons--experiences that were defining for his musical interest and which awakened his passion for conducting.
John Lidfors went on to study orchestral and choral conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna graduating in 2010 with his debut in the Musikverein. In 2017 he completed his postgraduate training at the International Conducting Academy Berlin. Seeking to further refine his artistry he has participated in masterclasses with David Zinman, Jorma Panula, Simon Halsey and with Neeme Järvi at the first Gstaad Conducting Academy.


Giving young people access to classical music performed live has from the beginning been a key focus of the Orchester Ventuno that John Lidfors founded in the Nuremberg region in 2012. In addition to its regular concert activity John Lidfors has organized outreach visits to elementary schools with interactive performances for hundreds of children, many of whom never heard a live orchestra before. The musical and educational success of this venture is reflected in the enthusiastic responses at the school concerts, in various festival invitations and in the cultural advancement awards John Lidfors was presented with by the Region of Middle Franconia and the City of Fürth.


oct 29, 2021

7 pm

Oct 30, 2021
5 pm

San Diego Symphony

The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, San Diego, CA


Richard Wagner: Overture to Tannhäuser
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2
Carlos Oliver Simon, Jr.: Fate Now Conquers
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7

    Conductor: Rafael Payare

    Nov 5, 2021

    7 pm

    Nov 6, 2021
    5 pm

    San Diego Symphony

    The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, San Diego, CA


    Bedřich Smetana: Vltava (The Moldau)
    Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5
    Béla Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra

      Conductor: Rafael Payare

      Nov 20, 2021

      8 pm

      German Choir Conductors' Prize

      Sophien Church, Berlin, Germany

      RIAS Chamber Choir

      Choral works by J.L. Bach, R. Schumann, J. Harvey, F. Guerrero