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ON THE RISE IN 2012

Conductor Courtney Lewis is an artist to watch

MATTHEW J. LEE/GLOBE STAFF

Belfast-born conductor Courtney Lewis is the founding music director of the Discovery Ensemble, a youthful and dynamic chamber orchestra that works in Boston schools and also offers a distinctive series of public concerts. Under his baton the Discovery’s performances often blend a streamlined precision with a supple musicality. He is also at ease in speaking directly to audiences about the music, a skill that comes in handy these days.

Lewis’s local ties are substantial - he apprenticed with conductor Benjamin Zander - but his star is also rising on the national scene as well. He is an associate conductor at the Minnesota Orchestra and this year was chosen as a Dudamel Fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Conducting careers often require a degree of nomadism and who knows how long Boston will keep its share of Lewis. For now, his work with the Discovery Ensemble remains on regular display. Next up, on April 13, comes a program of works by Beethoven, Mozart, Debussy, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Jordan Hall, www.discoveryensemble.com.

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