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Jonathan Dawe

New York, NY   

The highly innovative and conjured world of composer Jonathan Dawe joins Baroque imagery with a modernist mix, cast with dynamic dramatic flair. Cited for his “quirky, fascinating modernist variations on earlier styles”(Time Out) his music involves the recasting of energies and sounds of the past into decisively new expressions, through compositional workings based upon fractal geometry. Recent pieces and productions have been described as “music of such vitality and drama” (New York Times) “a brake squealing collision of influence” (Boston Globe) and “provocative.” (Time Out)

 Described as “one of our most talented and distinctive – yet little-known – contemporary composers,” (Seen and Heard International) Dawe is the youngest composer to have been commissioned by James Levine and The Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Flowering Arts, a bold fractured transformation of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Les arts florissants, was hailed in 2005 as a “Powerful Premiere” (Boston Globe). Levine writes “His take on that earlier music is extraordinary.” Boston Herald concluded: “In classical terms Dawe is practically a kid so Levine’s interest should be taken very seriously.”

Cosí faran tutti (They’ll All Do It!) a prequel to Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte premiered in December 2012 at The Teatro Theatre of The Italian Academy in New York City. The operatic production featured the modern/Baroque dance ensemble Company XIV, Ryan McAdams conducting, and Alastair Boag, directing. Chosen as a ‘2012 Pick-of-the-Year,’ the opera was said to “enchant on every level” and that it “outshines many of our more famous operas.” (Seen and Heard International)

Other recent full-length productions include Cracked Orlando: dramma per musica e fractals (librettist Terry Marks Tarlow) with countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, Company XIV, and The Second Instrumental Unit with conductor Ryan McAdams, and Alastair Boag, directing, produced at the Italian Academy in 2010. In 2009 scenes from Armide, an opera set in the future in post-war Iraq, was presented by New York City Opera (VOX) and earlier by the American Composers Orchestra at Zankel Hall, NYC.

 Prometheus an opera in three acts premiered on the Works & Process series at the Guggenheim Museum with countertenor Derek Lee Ragin, The New York Baroque Dance Company, and Cygnus Ensemble with Jeffrey Milarsky, conducting, Experience Byron directing.  

Curent projects include a new work for JACK QUARTET as well as a dramtic work for Derek Lee Ragin.

Awards include The Copland Fund for New Music, Koussevitzky Music Foundation (Library of Congress), NYSCA, Fromm Foundation (Harvard University), Presser Foundation, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Bearns Prize (Columbia University), and ASCAP and BMI.

 Jonathan Dawe was born in Boston Massachusetts in 1965 and studied at The North Carolina School of the Arts (HS), Oberlin Conservatory (BM) with Richard Hoffmann, and The Juilliard School (MM, DMA) with Milton Babbitt. Upon graduation at Juilliard in 1995 he joined the doctoral faculty where he currently teaches.


The Flowering Arts (2005) EXCERPT

Orchestral work by Jonathan Dawe, Boston Symphony Orchestra, James Levine conducting

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Opera in development by Jonathan Dawe, New York City Opera VOX (2008)

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Symphony of Imaginary Numbers (2008)

Large ensemble work by Jonathan Dawe, The Manhattan Sinfonietta, Jeffrey Milarsky, conducting

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