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Bio

Jonathan Dawe Biography

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His contemporary take on that older music is extraordinary.

James Levine, Music Director The Boston Symphony Orchestra Program Book 1/15/06

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 " bound to be 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.”   

Other recent premieres include the operas Così faran tutti (They’ll All Do It!) 2012 –a prequel to Mozart’s Così fan tutte- and Cracked Orlando: dramma per musica e fractals 2010 both produced at The Italian Academy in New York City. Commissions from The Boston Symphony Orchestra, The American Composers Orchestra, The Italian Academy, The Wharton Center for Performing Arts, The Miro Quartet, The Brentano String Quartet, The Manhattan Sinfonietta, Cygnus Ensemble, The New York New Music Ensemble, New Juilliard Ensemble, The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Awards he has received include two recording grants from The Copland Fund for New Music, a Koussevitzky Music Foundation Commission (Library of Congress), a NYSCA commission grant, a Fromm Foundation Grant (Harvard University), a Presser Award (Presser Foundation), The Charles Ives Scholarship (American Academy of Arts and Letters), The Bearns Prize (Columbia University), two ASCAP prizes, two BMI awards, the David Cinnamon Prize and the Herbert Ellwel Prize (Oberlin Conservatory.) Jonathan Dawe was born in Boston Massachusetts in 1665 and studied at the Oberlin Conservatory (BM 1987) with Richard Hoffmann and The Juilliard School (MM 1993, DMA 1995) with Milton Babbitt. Upon graduation he joined the graduate faculty of the Juilliard School where he teaches today.