studied at the University of California at Berkeley and had every intention of
majoring in literature until he attended a master class given by the
legendary Pablo Casals. He took
up the cello and switched schools to Julliard where he studied with Bernard
Greenhouse. In 1965 and 1966,
he also attended the Tanglewood Music
Center. He participated in the Sarasota
Music Festival in 1970 and 1971.
In 1971, he joined
the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Other groups with whom he has worked include the Boston Pops, the
Cape Ann Symphony, the Essex Chamber Music Players, the Fine Arts Quartet,
the Gramercy Trio, the Hartford Symphony, the Metropolitan Symphony
Orchestra of Boston, the Newton Symphony Orchestra, the New York String
Sextet, and the San Diego Symphony.
He founded the Boston Artists Ensemble in 1980.
In 1990, he
appeared on the Ronald Barron Album, Hindemith
on Trombone. He recorded
all of Beethoven’s cello sonatas with pianist Randall Hodgkinson and they appeared on CD in 2001 and
2003. Other recordings on which
he is credited include America
by the Boston Pops, Live in Boston
by Chris Botti, and two digital albums by Thor
Bremer, Altitudes & Catari Ariyasaccani and The Multitude.
2000, he and pianist Lois Shapiro and violinist Sharan
Leventhal gave the world premiere of Joan
Huang’s “Remembering the South River Land”. He and Sharan
teamed up with pianist Horia Mihail
for the world premiere of Robert Livingston Aldridge’s
“Trio” in April 2001.
November 2004, the Gramercy Trio recorded a podcast of Robert
Schumann’s “Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 63” at WGBH
in Boston, Massachusetts.
Trio delivered the world premiere of Fred Hersch’s
“Lyric Piece” in April 2005. In March 2006, they gave the New
England premiere of Nicholas
December 2006, the Boston Artists Ensemble performed Leos Janacek’s
“String Quartet No. 2” (“Intimate Letters”), Gyorgy Kurtag’s “Hommage a Mihaly Andras: 12 Microludes for String Quartet” and Maurice
Ravel’s “Duo for Violin and Cello” at Trinity Church in
Felix Mendelssohn’s “Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 24”, the
Boston premiere of Sonia Possetti’s
“Suite Buenos Aires” and Joaquin Turina’s
“Trio No. 1, Op. 35” on 28th January 2007.
February 2007, they interpreted Antonin
Dvorak’s “Quintet for String Quartet and Bass in G, Op.
77”, Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Quartet No. 8” and the
always enticing mystery piece to be guessed by an audience member for a
chance to win free tickets!
up a mostly-Bach program on 22nd April 2007 that included the
master’s “Sonata for Cello and Harpsichord in G”,
“Sonata for Viola and Harpsichord in G” and “Sonata for
Violin and Harpsichord in B minor”, as well as Mozart’s
“Divertimento for String Trio, K. 563”.
December 2007, The Gramercy Trio appeared on the barge at Fulton Ferry
Landing in Brooklyn, New York, for a program of music by Fred Hersch that comprised “Little Midnight Nocturne”,
the aforementioned “Lyric Piece”, “Saloon Songs”,
“Tango Bittersweet” and “24 Variations on a Bach Chroale”.
They reprised the “Lyric Piece” on 31st May
2008 at Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory.
June 2008, they were back on-board for Gabriel Faure’s “Trio in
D minor, Op. 120”, Robert Schumann’s “Piano Trio No. 2 in
F major, Op. 80”, and Nicholas
“Piano Trio No. 2”.
violinists Jason Horowitz and Elita Kang and violist
Edward Gazouleas were on-hand for the American
premiere of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s “Sonatina
for Glass Harmonica and Strings” with soloist Thomas Bloch in April
October 2010, he teamed up with pianist Dalit Hadass Warshaw for a pair of
sonatas by Johannes Brahms and Claude Debussy at the Newton Free Library.
Trio gave a concert at the University of Wisconsin School of Music on 17th
March 2011, the Boston Artists Ensemble appeared at the Peabody Essex
Museum, where they
performed Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Serenade for String Trio in
D, Op. 8”, Luigi Boccherini’s “Quintet in E minor, Op.
15, No. 5”, Franz Schubert’s “String
Quartet in B flat, D. 112” and Judith Weir’s “String
Quartet”. They reprised
this program on 6th March 2011 at Trinity Church.
April 2011, Jonathan joined forces with pianist Eliko
Akahori at Shalin Liu Performance
Center in Rockport,
where they performed works by Bach, Debussy, Janacek, Mendelssohn, Olivier Messaien, and Alfredo Piatti.
The BSO opened
their season at Tanglewood in July 2011 with an
ambitious Italian program that opened with the entire first act of Norma by Vincenzo
Bellini and also featured the aforementioned overture from William Tell by Rossini, “The
Pines of Rome” by Ottorino Respighi and the
trio from Act III of I Lombardi
by Giuseppe Verdi.
September 2011, the Gramercy Trio appeared at Emmanuel
in Norwood, Massachusetts. Their program comprised: “Fledermaus: A Concert Paraphrase” by
Leopold Godowksy and Johann Strauss, Jr.; “Notturno” from “Soirees Musicales, Op. 6,
No. 2” by Clara Schumann; “Prelude and Fugue in E flat major,
BWV 552” (“St. Anne”) by Bach and Ferruccio
Busoni; “Il Saltarello Romano, Op. 6, No. 4”
by Fanny Henselt; and, “Trio in B flat, Op.
99” by Schubert.
Artists Ensemble returned to the Newton Free Library on 18th September
2011 for a concert that consisted of “Sonata for Violin and Piano in
D minor, Op. 108” by Brahms, and “Sonata in D major, BWV 1028”
and “Sonata in G minor, BWV 1029” by Bach.
September 2011, they were back at Peabody
for the ever-enticing mystery piece sandwiched between “Piano Trio
No. 1 in B flat, Op. 99, D. 898” by Schubert and “Piano Trio
No. 1 in D minor, Op. 63” by Robert Schumann. They reprised this concert at Trinity Church on 25th September
& 11th November 2011, they performed “Quintet in D,
Op. 29, No. 1” by Boccherini, “String Sextet No. 1 in B flat,
Op. 18” by Brahms, and “Verklarte Nacht, Op. 4” by Arnold Schoenberg.
In the field
of musical education, Jonathan has taught at the Boston Conservatory, the
New England Conservatory, and Tanglewood.