jon magnussen / composer


Jon Magnussen’s music has been described as "hauntingly beautiful" (Salt Lake Tribune), “beautifully textured" (New York Times), and "thoughtful... deeply imaginative" (L.A. Times).  Composed for the concert hall, drama, dance and film, his music has been commissioned and performed nationally and internationally by organizations including American Ballet Theatre, American Composers Orchestra, Chamber Music Hawaiʻi, Ebb and Flow Arts, ETHEL (string quartet), Haven Trio, Hawaiʻi Youth Opera Chorus, Hawaii Youth Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, The Juilliard School, Limón Dance Company (NYC), Lula Washington Dance Theatre, New York New Music Ensemble, New Juilliard Ensemble, New York Percussion Quartet, New York Virtuoso Singers, The Shakespeare Theatre (Washington, D.C.), and St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble.  His compositions have been funded by organizations including the Argosy Foundation, Chamber Music America with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Honolulu Mayorʻs Office on Culture and the Arts, Kosasa Foundation, Library of Congress, Meet the Composer, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. His recordings appear on the Albany, Chamber Music Hawaii and Blue Griffin labels.  Recent collaborative projects include Pākaʻa Lanakila!, a Hawaiian-style “Peter and the Wolf” for Chamber Music Hawaii’s Spring Wind Quintet and Hawaiian-language narrator; and “Nā Kau ʻElua | The Two Seasons”,  an oboe concerto for J. Scott Janusch in chamber and symphonic versions.  Magnussen holds doctoral and masters degrees from The Juilliard School where he studied composition with Robert Beaser and participated in seminars with John Corigliano, Ellen Taafe Zwilich and William Bolcom. He also holds degrees from Conservatoire Nationale Supérieure de Musique de Paris where he studied with Jean-Paul Holstein; and Cornell University, where he studied with Steven Stucky and Karel Husa.  He was Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton from 2000 to 2007, and is currently Associate Professor of Music at University of Hawai‘i West O‘ahu. 

(18 April 2019)

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