Jonathan Newman

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.

[May 2015]