Saturday 25 May
Born in Syracuse, New York, Jonathan English entered the Eastman School of Music to study voice. His primary teacher was John Maloy, and additional teachers were Jan DeGaetani, Helen Boatwright, Seth McCoy, and Thomas Paul. While at Eastman he sang early music with lutanist Paul Odette and gained a reputation as a champion for new music. Upon completion of his undergraduate course, English continued on at Eastman, earning master’s degrees in vocal performance under Maloy and choral conducting under Donald Neuen and Alfred Mann.
As a tenor Jonathan English has performed a wide range of musical styles – from opera, symphonic and oratorio, to art song, choral, Broadway, and modern vocal chamber music. He has been a soloist with: Boston’s Cantata Singers, under David Hoose; the Syracuse Opera Theatre under Christopher Keene and Steven White; Oswego Opera Theatre under Juan Francisco La Manna; Rochester Philharmonic under Isaiah Jackson, Monadnock Music Festival under James Boole, the Sackets Harbor Vocal Arts Ensemble under Richard E. Probert; and the Pennsylvania Sinfonia under Alfred Mann, among others. Mr. English gave the American Premiere of Johann Rosenmüller’s cantata In te domino with lutanist Paul Odette, and the Boston Premiere with organist James David Christie. He is also a frequent recitalist having given performances throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
Mr. English is especially proud of his association with new music. He has premiered works by composers such as Samuel Adler, Steven Albert, Denise Bacon, Warren Benson, Christopher Cresswell, Sydney Hodkinson, Daniel Pinkham, Stanley Walden, and many others. In 2012 he and composer Christopher Cresswell won a commission from the American Composers Forum. The piece entitled Stone Seeking Warmth was awarded a commission through the Jerome Foundation for New Music. The text is by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Stephen Dunn.
He is the founder of The American Song Project, created to promote awareness, through performances and recordings, of the depth and beauty of contemporary and historical American Art Song. Currently Mr. English and his colleagues are preparing to record all the songs of composer George Whitefield Chadwick. Newport Classic released his first solo CD, Over There! Songs from America’s Wars, featuring music from the Revolutionary War to World War I.
English has been a critically praised stage director for Drama, Opera and Musical Theater. His productions include: David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross; Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men; James McClure’s Laundry and Bourbon and Lonestar; Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple; Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow (in his own translation); Verdi’s La Traviata; and Roger and Hammerstein’s Carousel.
Currently Mr. English is on the voice faculty of the Syracuse University Setnor School of Music. His students have won numerous prizes, been chosen to participate in festivals and young artist programs around the world, and continue to be engaged in opera companies throughout the United States. He has his own weekly classical music radio show on WCNY FM, and is co-host to the weekly television show Artifex which celebrates all of the visual and performing arts. Mr. English serves on the boards for the Joyful Noise Concert Series, and the Ernst Bacon Society.
“I found the honesty of this performer – a musician presenting
with care music he loves – wonderfully satisfying.”
-Anthony Tommasini, The Boston Globe