“Music with such vitality and drama”—Allan Kozinn (New York Times)
We go behind the scenes as Juilliard composer Jonathan Dawe collaborates with the director, choreographer, singers, actors, and conductor preparing for the spring 2021 premiere of Being Ariodante at the Italian Academy.
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). He has been described as “one of our most talented and distinctive – yet little-known – contemporary composers” (Seen and Heard International). The Flowering Arts, a bold fractured transformation of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Les arts florissants, commissioned by the Boston Symphony, was hailed in 2005 as a “powerful premiere” (Boston Globe).
Recent productions include Nero and The Fall of Lehman Brothers with BOP Ballet | Opera | Pantomime (Montreal) as well as the premiere with Ensemble Échappé at the Italian Academy (NYC). Cracked Orlando: dramma per musica e fractals was presented in the ‘Beyond the Machine’ series at The Juilliard School. Additional productions include 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. He has been commissioned by The Boston Symphony Orchestra, The American Composers Orchestra, The Italian Academy of Columbia University, The Wharton Center for Performing Arts, Ensemble Échappé, Da Capo Chamber Players, Load Bang, The Miro Quartet, The Brentano String Quartet, The Manhattan Sinfonietta, Cygnus Ensemble, The New York New Music Ensemble, New Juilliard Ensemble, and The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He has received many awards, including 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 1965 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.
Being Ariodante, in April 2021, will be Dawe’s fourth opera production in collaboration with the Italian Academy.