Position: Director of Composition; Coordinator of New Music; Associate Professor, Composition
Location: Ruebush Hall, Room 139
Phone: (540) 665-4630
Employed Since: 2015
Conservatory Professional Highlights:
Jonathan Newman’s recent work Piʻilani and Koʻolau is a large-scale “imagined ballet” on a scenario by playwright Gary Winter, commissioned by the Florida State University College of Music. Other recent work includes Mass for chorus, vocal trio and chamber orchestra with texts by poet Victoria Chang, which premiered with The Choir of Trinity Wall Street as part of their 2018 Mass Reimaginings commissioning program.
In 2016 he was appointed Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s (CYSO) composer-in-residence; CYSO’s 2011 commission Blow It Up, Start Again has been performed by orchestras worldwide, including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the Brussels Philharmonic, 2015 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 and These Inflected Tentacles for chamber quartet.
Newman’s ensemble transcriptions include arrangements of Beck, George Harrison, Puccini, Sufjan Stevens, Eric Whitacre, Led Zeppelin and electronica recorded on Acoustica: Alarm Will Sound Performs Aphex Twin.
As a MacDowell Fellow, he began work on an opera based on the 1962 cult horror film Carnival of Souls, also in collaboration with Winter. In early 2022 pianist Blair McMillen will premiere his newest work JRB Variations, a large-form concert variations based on a musical theater theme by Jason Robert Brown.
B.M., Boston University; M.M., The Juilliard School
Fields of Expertise:
Music composition, 20th- and 21st-century music, and new music performance. Academic interests include a humanities-driven approach to the arts—illuminating how music, visual arts, dance, theater and philosophy consistently intersect with each other and the relative popular and vernacular culture. Professional composition work explores how disparate vernacular music styles and popular culture coincide with the music of the contemporary concert hall.
OK Feel Good Music
Shenandoah New Music