Jonathan Newman composes music rich with rhythmic drive and intricate sophistication. A recipient of the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Newman creates broadly colored musical works, often incorporating styles of pop, blues, jazz, folk, and funk into otherwise classical models.
Upcoming projects include These Inflected Tentacles, a chamber work commissioned by the New York City-based Avian Orchestra, and a new work for orchestra commissioned by the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras. Recent commissions include 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 and the University of Houston, Stereo Action, written for a consortium of percussion ensembles, and Sowing Useful Truths, commissioned by the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Other recent works include Symphony No. 1, My Hands Are a City—a wind ensemble consortium commission based on themes of mid-century American Beat Culture, De Profundis for massed winds, Milori Blue for euphonium and piano, Concertino for flute solo, chamber winds, and piano, and his chamber sextet The Vinyl Six, recorded by Avian Orchestra on Fantastic Music for a Fabulous Time (Avian Music). His arrangements of electronica for Acoustica: Alarm Will Sound Performs Aphex Twin (Cantaloupe) premiered at the 2005 Lincoln Center Festival, and 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.
Born in 1972, Newman 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.
Newman’s catalog for wind ensembles includes My Hands Are a City, recorded by the University of Georgia Wind Ensemble (Naxos), As the scent of spring rain…, recorded by Tokyo’s TAD Wind Symphony (Basic Video Arts) and the University of New Mexico (Summit), Climbing Parnassus, commissioned and recorded by the 2008 Japan Wind Ensemble Conductors Conference (Brain Music), Avenue X, recorded by the Gotham Wind Symphony (ArtistShare), and Moon by Night, 2003 winner of the bi-annual NBA/Merrill Jones Composition Award. His work with the University of Nevada Las Vegas Wind Orchestra includes Chunk, a 2003 commission and title track of their 2004 CD release (Mark Custom Records), and OK Feel Good, a 1999 commission recorded on 3 Steps Forward (Klavier). The Rutgers Wind Ensemble has recorded three of his ensemble works on three CDs (Mark Custom Records), including Moon by Night, Uncle Sid, and The Rivers of Bowery.
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 with his wife Melissa Schlachtmeyer, a costume designer, and their daughter Amelia, in New York City.