Jonathan Newman composes music rich with rhythmic drive and intricate sophistication, creating broadly colored musical works that incorporate styles of pop, blues, jazz, folk, and funk into otherwise classical models.
Upcoming projects include a Mass with texts by poet Victoria Chang for The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and a viola concerto for soloist Brett Deubner. Recent commissions include Blow It Up, Start Again, written for Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras and performed by orchestras worldwide, including the Minnesota Orchestra and the Grand Rapids Symphony, and this summer by the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the 2015 BBC Proms. Other recent commissions include Prayers of Steel for Chicago's Gaudete Brass, These Inflected Tentacles for chamber quartet, Vivid Geography for women's chorus and chamber orchestra on a text by poet Marcella Durand, written for the 2011 Japan Wind Ensemble Conductors Conference, Stereo Action, commissioned by a consortium of percussion ensembles, and arrangements of electronica for Acoustica: Alarm Will Sound Performs Aphex Twin (Cantaloupe), premiering at the 2005 Lincoln Center Festival. Other arrangements have been performed by Townsend Opera Remix, soprano Hila Plitmann, and the Minnesota Orchestra. As a MacDowell Colony Fellow, he began work on an opera based on the 1962 cult horror film Carnival of Souls, in collaboration with playwright Gary Winter.
Wind and educational ensembles around the world frequently perform his large catalog of works for winds, including a transcription of Blow It Up, Start Again, his Symphony No. 1, My Hands Are a City—a wind ensemble consortium commission based on themes of mid-century American Beat Culture, Sowing Useful Truths, commissioned by the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and Moon by Night, 2003 winner of the NBA/Merrill Jones Composition Award.
Born in 1972, Newman received the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and holds degrees from Boston University's School for the Arts (MusB), where he studied composition with Richard Cornell and Charles Fussell and conducting with Lukas Foss, and The Juilliard School (MusM), where he studied with composers John Corigliano and David Del Tredici and conducting with Miguel Harth-Bedoya. At Juilliard, his collaborative works for dance enjoyed multiple performances at The Juilliard Theater, Alice Tully Hall, P.S. 122, and Dance Theater Workshop. Early training includes Boston University Tanglewood Institute and the Aspen Music Festival where he studied with composers George Tsontakis and Bernard Rands. His works have been recorded on Avian, BCM, Brain Music, Cantaloupe, Cedille, Klavier, Mark Custom, Naxos, Potenza, and Summit Records.
Newman is a founding member of the composer-consortium BCM International: four stylistically-diverse composers from across the country, dedicated to enriching the repertoire with exciting works for mediums often mired in static formulas. BCM has recorded two CDs: BCM Saves the World (2002, Mark Custom Records) and BCM Men of Industry (2004, BCM Records). He resides in Portland, Oregon, and was recently appointed Director of Composition & Coordinator of Music at the Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA.