In just a few years, Jonathan Stockhammer has succeeded in making a name for himself in the world of opera, the classical symphony, and contemporary music. He first studied Chinese and political science before moving on to studies in composition and conducting in his hometown of Los Angeles. During his studies, he filled in for a series of concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, after which he was asked to become chief conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen’s assistant. After completing his studies, Jonathan Stockhammer moved to Germany where he formed close relationships with well-known European ensembles such as Ensemble Modern, musikFabrik and Ensemble Resonanz. As a superb communicator, he has a great talent not only for presenting concerts but also for working on an equal footing with a variety of performers – whether they are young musicians and rappers or stars such as Imogen Heap or the Pet Shop Boys.
Opera is central to Jonathan Stockhammer's work. The operas he has conducted, including Die Dreigroschenoper, Zemlinsky‘s Eine florentinische Tragödie, Sciarrino‘s Luci mie traditrici and Monkey: Journey to the West by Damon Albarn, identify him as a conductor who welcomes and masters the difficulties presented by complex scores and special, cross-categorical productions. He has been a regular guest at the Opéra de Lyon since first appearing there in 1998, where he has since conducted the successful French premiere of Dusapin’s Faustus, the Last Night. In 2009, he premiered Wolfgang Rihm’s Proserpina with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, and also conducted the orchestra in Rihm’s Deus Passus. In 2010, he conducted the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in a production of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music at the Théâtre du Châtelet Paris. In February 2013, he made his debut at the New York City Opera in Thomas Adès’ Powder Her Face. This production, which garnered widespread praise, was immediately invited for further performances at the Festival d’opéra de Québec in August 2013.
Jonathan Stockhammer has worked with numerous renowned orchestras such as the Oslo Philharmonic, NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared at the Salzburg Festival, Lucerne Festival, Donaueschingen Festival, Biennale Venice and Wien Modern.
Aside from conducting classical and romantic masterpieces, and classical contemporary works, Jonathan Stockhammer enjoys delving into music that blurs the boundaries between classical music, rock, pop, and hip-hop. His CD Greggery Peccary & Other Persuasions with Ensemble Modern (RCA, 2003), featuring works by Frank Zappa, won an Echo Klassik Award. He also recorded a new soundtrack to Sergei Eisensteins’s 1925 film The Battleship Potemkin, composed and performed by the Pet Shop Boys. The live recording of The New Crystal Silence that he conducted with Chick Corea, Gary Burton and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra won a Grammy in 2009. His collaboration with spoken word artist Saul Williams on Said the Shotgun to the Head, featuring music composed by Thomas Kessler, has also been particularly successful. To date, he has conducted the work with the WDR Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Oslo Philharmonic.
In the 2015/2016 season, he will make his debut at the Vienna State Opera in a new production of Peter Eötvös‘s Tri Sestri (Three Sisters) and premiere Georg Friedrich Haas‘s new opera KOMA at the Schwetzingen Festival. Jonathan Stockhammer has been Conductor in Residence of Collegium Novum Zurich since the renowned Swiss ensemble’s anniversary season in 2013/2014.
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