| Jean-François Gonzales-Hamilton


Devoted to music and culture for more than forty years as a conductor, professor of chamber music at the Conservatoire National de Région de Versailles, violinist, composer, writer of musical and educational books.

He was awarded the “Chevalier des Palmes Académiques” prize by the French government in January 2010.

| In brief

● Graduated from the Higher National Conservatory of Music in Paris in violin, chamber music, orchestral conducting, musical analysis, music history, harmony and counterpoint
● Specialised in orchestral conducting in the USA
● Award winner from the “Fondation de France” as a composer
● “Chevalier des Palmes académiques” (Academic Knight of the Palms)

| His references

● Conducted music concerts in Saint-Chapel (Paris) for 12 years
● Conducted the official concert given for the President of the French Republic and of the Chancellor of the German Federal Republic for the 20th anniversary of the Franco-German Treaty of cooperation
● Conducted also for French Television; “Musiques au cœur” with Eve Ruggieri and “Tout le monde le sait” with Jacques Martin
● Has been invited to conduct in China, India, Korea and Russia
● Author of musical and educational works: author of a method for violin and viola in two volumes which are the most used methods in the French-speaking countries and beyond (more than 50 000 copies in circulation)
● He was one of the youngest musicians of the “O.R.T.F/Radio-France” for several years
● Invited by Orchestras such as the “Orchestre Colonne” and the O.S.R.

Jean-François GONZALES-HAMILTON is one of the most active conductors of the present generation. For the past several years, he has conducted more than eighty concerts annually, a large portion of them in the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris (780 concerts from 1977 to 2014).

After completing brilliant academic studies, particularly in philosophy, he decided to devote himself to music and received the highest awards in eight fields at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and the Conservatoire National de Versailles before going to the United States for additional conductive training.

Besides his favoured romantic repertoire and baroque music, Jean-François GONZALES-HAMILTON regularly conducts the foremost Parisian choirs in major works of sacred music.

He has participated in many well known television programmes and was chosen to conduct the official symphonic concert given in Paris to mark the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the French-German Treaty of Co-operation.

Jean-François GONZALES-HAMILTON’s concerts have taken him throughout Europe and the Mediterranean as well as to the United States, Japan, China, India and Korea. At present, he is pursuing two main careers: conductor and violinist. In addition, he is a professor of chamber music at the Conservatoire National de Région de Versailles and has had several of his own original works published (in 1983, he received the composition award from the Fondation de France).

Jean-François GONZALES-HAMILTON speaks French, English and Russian; conversational Italian, Spanish, Japanese.

| Conductor

As a conductor Jean-François GONZALES-HAMILTON has conducted more than 780 concerts and other musical events since 1977.

For twelve years, Jean-François GONZALES-HAMILTON used to conduct the concerts of Musique en la Sainte-Chapelle (Paris); he conducted the official symphonic concert given in Paris on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the French-German Treaty of Co-operation; he has also conducted for several radio and television broadcastings; he was the only European conductor invited by the Aspen Music Festival (U. S. A.) in 1978. He was appointed unanimously as Music Director-Conductor of Orchestre Symphonique du Rail (Paris) in September 2009. He was invited to conduct and teach in China (April 2010, summer 2012, December 2012, November 2013, December 2013), India (August 2011, on a mission for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and Korea (March 2013).


[…] The NEW-SYMPHONY Orchestra, under the expert leadership of Jean-François GONZALES-HAMILTON, has emphasised all the essential qualities of this “SINFONIA-SACRA”; avoiding the repetition and pathos. Previously, this orchestra had portrayed a delicious “Divertimento nº11” by Mozart, an appetizer for the sumptuously prepared Philippe MAJORELLE creation.

[…] There again, Jean-François GONZALES-HAMILTON magnificently directed his orchestra. He has a remarkable feeling for the balance of sound, and a knowledge of how to use diverse instruments and their respective beauty to great effect in this orchestration.

Original article

Invitation à la Musique

29.04.1988, Musique et Tradition

| Pedagogue

While he was Professor of Chamber Music at the Conservatoire National de Région de Versailles, Jean-François GONZALES-HAMILTON was first in the National Competitive Examination for the position of Professor of Chamber Music in the National Conservatories of France, 1978. In more than thirty years, he educated around 1500 young professional musicians of whom about 80 % come from around the world. These foreign musicians, through their education, become ambassadors of French thought. Many of his former students hold positions in important orchestras and schools, in France and abroad. Jean-François GONZALES-HAMILTON’s teaching goes far beyond music. It could rather be called a quest for Truth (in the philosophical sense of the word): many of his students call Jean-François GONZALES-HAMILTON “Socrates”, comparing his teaching with one of the founders of the Western philosophy!

| Theoretician

As violinist, composer, writer of musical and pedagogical books, Jean-François GONZALES-HAMILTON is considered one of the rare theorists of modern violin and has great authority in the field of violin teaching. He published, together with a former student of his, the method of violin and viola which is the most widely used in French speaking countries and beyond (so far, more than 50,000 copies have been spread around the world).

After being one of the youngest musicians in the Paris Radio orchestras for several years, he was a violinist in a great number of concerts, he participated in many recordings (especially film music), he released seven commercial recordings (one of which was awarded Grand Prix du Disque) and he played for the main French cultural radio (France-Culture). As a French artist, he was invited twice by the Japanese company Mitsui to play on its luxury cruisers with three of his former students. The company Cunard invited him to play aboard the Queen Elizabeth II with the same team.

| Composer

As composer, Jean-François Gonzales-Hamilton received the composition award from the Fondation de France. His works have been published, performed in concert, broadcast and recorded.

In turn, conductor, violinist, professor of violin and chamber music, Jean-François Gonzales-Hamilton is without doubt, a particularly gifted musician. Although he has studied at several conservatories, it is at the National Conservatory of Versailles that he acquired that which makes his skills so original: diversity of talents and multi-faceted knowledge.

Original article

City of Versailles

| His current activities

* Freelance conductor (780 concerts from 1977 to 2014); Musical Director-Conductor of the Orchestre Symphonique du Rail (Paris) since September 2009

* Professor of Chamber Music at the Versailles National Conservatory since October, 1978 (first in the National Competitive Examination for the position of Professor of Chamber Music in the National Conservatories, 1978)

* Conductor of the traditional music choir Renanim (Paris) and of the operetta company les Palétuviens (Paris) since September 2010

* Violinist (concerts as soloist, leader, chamber music player)

* Composer (works have been performed in concert, broadcast, recorded and published)

* Director of the Music school in Villepreux (Paris area) from September 2010 to December 2011

* Author of A Violin Method published by Henry Lemoine (two volumes: 1991 & 1995); transcriptions for Viola issued in 1994 & 1999; composer of 26 Etudes for Violin published by Henry Lemoine (1996)

| His musical background


– Prix de Direction d’Orchestre (June, 1978) after training with J.-S. Béreau, M. Constant, P. Dervaux, L. Fourestier, A. Girard, P.-M. Le Conte, G. Sinopoli, G. Tzipine, L. Vis
– Premier Prix (Violin), 1971
– Prix (Chamber Music), 1971 ; studies with Pierre Pasquier
– Prix (Musical Analysis), 1978 ; studies with Betsy Jolas
– Première Médaille (Solfège), 1969
– courses in Harmony, Counterpoint and History of Music at the Paris Conservatory


– Gold Medal (Violin) of the city of Versailles, awarded unanimously
– Gold Medal (Chamber Music), awarded unanimously
– Trumpet studies with Roger Delmotte

A “royal” concert… at the “Chapelle Royale”

The conductor was Jean-François Gonzales-Hamilton, who founded the orchestra in 1980. He is equally a prestigious violinist, an exceptional teacher and, since September 2009, the conductor of the Rail Symphony Orchestra.

Original article République du Centre


| Highlights

*Conducting and Violin :

– Member of the French Radio Chamber Orchestra as violinist (Sept. 1972-Dec. 1975)

– Activities as conductor and violinist since 1976

– Founded the “Orchestre Jean-François Gonzales” in 1977

– Only European conductor invited to participate in the Erich Leinsdorf Symposium for Conductors at the Aspen Music Festival, U.S.A. (1978)

– Concerts conducted with the Orchestre Jean-François Gonzales, the Ensemble d’Archets Français (Musique en la Sainte-Chapelle), the Orchestre Colonne, the Orchestre Symphonique Franco-Allemand, the New Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique du Rail since 1979

*Teaching :

– Professor of Violin, Orchestral Activities, Chamber Music, Music Theory in several music schools of the Paris area (1968-2011)

– Professor of Chamber Music at the International Summer Academy in Bretagne, France (1981-82-83)

– Music Director/Conductor of the “Société de l’Orchestre de Marly” (Oct. 1979-Oct. 1980)

– Director of the Music School in Plaisir, France : 400 students (1974-1976)

– Conductor of a chorus in the Versailles area (Jan. 1982-Feb. 1986)

– Pedagogical adviser to the Ministry of Culture for Chamber music (1985-1986)

– Technical adviser for software application to music at the École Polytechnique (1986-1987)

*Recordings :

-Noëls de France (Auvidis), 1979
-“Nelson Mass” (Missa in Angustiis) by Haydn (Auvidis), 1980
-“Missa Gallica” by B. Lallement (Auvidis), 1983 : Grand Prix Audiovisuel de l’Europe 1984
-“Rhapsodies pour les jours de fête”,
by A. Patrick (UMIP-Forlane), 1983
-“Heiligmesse” by Haydn (BNL), 1984
-Requiem (op. posthumous) by Gounod (BNL 112947), 2007
-“Messe de Noël” by B. Lallement (BNL 112958), 2008

*Radio and Television :

– Several television and radio broadcastings as conductor and as violinist.


The excellent orchestra was thus formed and placed under the direction of Jean-François Gonzalès-Hamilton, who is renowned as a violinist and conductor and whom the people of Versailles know well.

Original article Toutes les nouvelles


Music for the Best

[…] Jean-François Gonzalès’ orchestra charmed, won over and enthused the auditorium both by their friendship and by the “best of music”. An excellent “divertimento” by Mozart was followed by a well balanced Vivaldi, which is often unpopular in concerts but was celebrated this evening. Finally “rehabilitated” by ensembles such as that of Jean-François Gonzalès, “Il Prete Rosso” comes to life in colourful passages in the concertos which he composed and which we have listened to tonight with real pleasure.

A rich palette of expressions

[…] Bach and Pachelbel, Rossini and Corelli, so many short works but full of poetry and eclectic nuances. The young conductor, Jean-François Gonzalès, knew how to direct his “Canon” and “La Badinerie” with a joy which brings the rostrum to life. His face lights up from the opening bars, he is at one with both the composer and the performers. After all, he is also the writer of “Blue Satin” and “Album Page” – two works which the Montansier audience savoured for their subtle qualities and harmonic balance! This showpiece in the evening’s performances, an emotional expression with a generous spirit, has put the giants such as Bach and Rossini in the limelight.

Original article Toutes les Nouvelles