Alumni Interviews – Jonathan Crow

Posted March 11, 2019

The Victoria Conservatory of Music is thrilled to welcome the world-renowned New Orford String Quartet back to the Alix Goolden Performance Hall on Thursday, April 4th, 2019. Consisting of the concertmasters of the Toronto and Montreal Symphony Orchestras, MSO principal cellist, and Detroit Symphony principal violist, the New Orford String Quartet has seen astonishing success since coming together in 2009. They perform annual CBC broadcasts and have received critical acclaim including two Opus Awards for Concert of the Year, and a 2017 JUNO Award for Canada’s top Chamber Music Recording.

Here at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, we’re especially honoured to welcome back alum, Jonathan Crow. Throughout high school, Jonathan took private lessons with Sydney Humphreys, Head of the Strings department at the VCM for over thirty years. As a teacher, Sydney mentored Jonathan to realize his unique potential.

We asked Jonathan about his time studying at the Victoria Conservatory of Music.


1. Name:  Jonathan Crow

2. Instrument:  Violin

3. Professional Title:  Concertmaster, Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Associate Professor of Violin, University of Toronto

4. What years did you study at the VCM?  1992-1995

5. What program/instructors did you study with at the VCM?  Private lessons during high school with Sydney Humphreys

6. Have to been back to teach/perform at the VCM since studying here?  Many times!

7. How has your VCM experience prepared you for what you are doing today?  The VCM gave me the chance to learn from some of the world’s greatest professional musicians- Sydney Humphreys in particular was a huge influence, and shaped my development as a violinist. The VCM also gave me performance opportunities and helped me connect with professionals in the industry who have been wonderful supporters of my career ever since.

8. What are some of the accomplishments you are most proud of in your career so far?  I’ve been lucky to perform with some of the world’s conductors, both as a soloist and orchestral players, as well as collaborating with amazing world-class musicians in chamber music settings. I feel like I’ve managed to find a great mix of everything I love about music!

9. If you could offer one piece of career advice to students, what would it be?  Make decisions in music and be committed to what you are doing at the moment. But- always be willing to change your mind, as you are going to have the chance to learn from so many different people in life, and each of these interactions will help shape what you want to do with your career; be open to everything!

10. Tell us about the New Orford String Quartet. What should we expect from the upcoming concert on April 4th, 2019?  This concert is going to be a great mix of different styles of music- from perhaps the greatest string quartet ever written (Beethoven Op.131) to a new work composed especially for us by Uriel Vanchestein- a work that explores some of the environmental issues going on in the world today. We love every piece that we’re playing on this program, and can’t wait to come back to Victoria!


New Orford String Quartet Concert Tickets

Tickets for the VCM Presents New Orford Strings Quartet concert are $20 + service fees. To help encourage young people to attend live performances of high quality chamber music and thanks to the generous support of a VCM donor, we are able to offer free admission to this concert for school student ages 18 and under.

Tickets are available at the VCM Box Office (900 Johnson Street), by phone at 250-386-5311, and online at

Photos Courtesy of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and


The VCM is proud to include Jonathan Crow amongst our Notable Alumni. If you’d like to submit your own alum profile, send us an email for more details.

One response to “Alumni Interviews – Jonathan Crow”

  1. Great interview! I love hearing personal stories of the musicians!

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