Jonathan Leshnoff (born September 8, 1973) is an American composer and pedagogue.
Early life and education
Jonathan Leshnoff was born on September 8, 1973 in New Brunswick, New Jersey to Susan Leshnoff, an artist, and Stephen Leshnoff, an engineer. He attended Johns Hopkins University and the Peabody Conservatory concurrently, earning bachelor's degrees in anthropology and music. He went on to receive Master's of Music and Doctor of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and the University of Maryland, respectively.
Jonathan Leshnoff is currently composing out of Baltimore, Maryland. His works have been performed by over 55 orchestras worldwide, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. While a large percentage of his work is orchestral, he has composed for many small ensembles and concert bands. Band presentations of Leshnoff's work include performances by the United States Marine Band, the United States Navy Band, and several university wind ensembles. Leshnoff is a professor of music at Towson University in Towson, Maryland, where he has been teaching music theory and contemporary music history for 17 years.
Awards and Recognition
Jonathan Leshnoff has been praised by many major critics and publications. The Washington Post has called him one of the "gifted young composers" of this generation, and The New York Times has deemed him "a leader of contemporary American lyricism. Stephen Brookes of the Washington Post called his fourth string quartet "a vast, thoroughly beautiful and extraordinarily moving work." Tim Smith in The Baltimore Sun said that "Jonathan Leshnoff’s music can be boldly dissonant or hauntingly lyrical, wildly animated or intriguingly contemplative." In 2015, the Baltimore Symphony, in an independent study, found Leshnoff to be one of the top ten most performed living composers of the season, alongside such composers as John Williams and John Adams.
Leshnoff's catalog includes four symphonies, ten concerti, and four oratorios.
- Symphony No. 1: Forgotten Chants and Refrains (2004)
- Violin Concerto No. 1 (2005)
- Double Concerto for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra (2007)
- Rush (2008)
- Starburst (2010)
- Concerto for Two Percussionists and Orchestra (2011)
- Hope: An Oratorio (2011)
- Cello Concerto (2012)
- Symphony No. 2: Innerspace (2014)
- Zohar Oratorio (2015)
- Chamber Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (2015)
- Symphony No. 3 (2015)
- Clarinet Concerto (2015)
- Symphony No. 4 (2017)
- Violin Concerto No. 2 (2017)
To date, five major recordings of Leshnoff's work have been released:
- Zohar and Symphony No. 2 "Innerspace"; Jessica Rivera, Nmon Ford, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; 2016
- Naxos American Classics: Symphony No. 1 "Forgotten Chants and Refrains," Double Concerto, Rush; Charles Wetherbee, Roberto Diaz, IRIS Orchestra; 2010
- Naxos American Classics: Violin Concerto, Distant Reflections, and String Quartet No. 1; Charles Wetherbee, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, and Carpe Diem String Quartet; 2009
- Naxos American Classics: Jonathan Leshnoff Chamber Music; Carpe Diem String Quartet, Jerome Simas, Stephen Miahky, Joshua Nemith, Opus 3 Trio, Barry Dove, Svet Stoyanov, Dave DePeters; 2012
- Leshnoff - Mendelssohn; Nina Kotova, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia; 2013