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Jonathan Russell

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Jonathan Russell


Jonathan Russell (b. 23 April 1979, Boston, Mass.) is an American composer, clarinetist, conductor, and educator.

Mr. Russell has a B.A. in Music from Harvard University and an M.M. in Music Composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His primary composition teachers have included Paul Lansky, Dmitri Tymoczko, Dan Trueman, Barbara White, Steve Mackey, Dan Becker, Elinor Armer, Eric Sawyer, John Stewart, and Eric Ewazen. His clarinet teachers have included Janet Greene, Alan Kay, and Jo-Ann Sternberg. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the composition program at Princeton University and lives in London, UK.

Especially known for his innovative bass clarinet and clarinet ensemble compositions, his works for bass clarinet duo, bass clarinet quartet, bass clarinet soloists, and clarinet ensembles have been performed around the world and are radically expanding the technical and stylistic possibilities of these genres.

Jonathan has received commissions from ensembles such as the San Francisco Symphony, Peninsula Symphony, Imani Winds, Empyrean Ensemble, ADORNO Ensemble, Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, Wild Rumpus, New Keys, and the Great Noise Ensemble, and performances from numerous other ensembles and performers.

An avid performer on clarinet and bass clarinet, Jonathan is a member of the heavy metal-inspired Edmund Welles bass clarinet quartet and the Sqwonk bass clarinet duo. He has appeared as soloist with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, the West Point Military Academy Band, and Harvard’s Bach Society Orchestra.

Jonathan frequently conducts his own compositions, as well as premieres of works by student and emerging composers. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, the Switchboard Music Festival, and the Claremont Clarinet Festival, where he was the 2011 and 2013 Artist-in-Residence.

A dedicated educator, Jonathan has served on the music theory faculty at San Francisco Conservatory and on the composition faculty at the Conservatory’s Adult Extension and Preparatory Divisions. With Sqwonk and Edmund Welles, he has led workshops in composition and bass clarinet performance at universities and conservatories throughout the United States.

Works for Winds