Jonathan Cole


Jonathan Cole is a composer, teacher and conductor.​

Early advocates of his music included the London Sinfonietta who premiered three pieces and toured his work in Sweden and Switzerland, recording Testament with conductor Oliver Knussen. Both Ouroboros II and Testament were nominated for RPS awards and in 1999 he was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Composition prize. In 1999, 2000 and 2002 his music was featured as part of the 'State of the Nation' Festival in London's South Bank Centre. 

From 2009 - 2013 he was the first composer-in-association with the London Contemporary Orchestra which culminated in the commissioning of burburbabbar za - a wordless opera performed as part of a residence at Snape Maltings. In 2012 with a group of like-minded friends, he set up the re:sound collective, organising events around London in such places as a World War II bunker, a nature reserve and a children's museum.​

Ensembles who have performed and commissioned him include  the Asko Ensemble, BBC PO,  BBC Singers, Chamber Domaine, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chroma, Composer’s Ensemble, Endymion, Explore Ensemble, Fukio Saxophone Quartet, Italian Radio Orchestra, Lontano, Mercury Quartet, Nash Ensemble, Nomad Ensemble (Tokyo), Ojai Festival Orchestra, Ossian Ensemble, Philharmonia Orchestra (Music for Today), Tokyo Sinfonietta, TranSimfonia Strings and Tre Voci.

​Conductors of his work include Stefan Asbury, George Benjamin, Martyn Brabbins, Hugh Brunt, Yasuaki Itakura, Oliver Knussen, Brad Lubman, Diego Masson, Pascal Rophe, Clark Rundell, Pierre Andre-Valade and Peter Weigold and musicians he has collaborated with include Colin Alexander, Claire Booth, Pietro Doronzo, Andrew Forbes, Nathanael Gubler,Rolf  Hind, Melinda Maxwell, Sara Minelli, Craig Ogden, Jean Rigby, Alastair Stout and  Ryan Wigglesworth.

His works have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as well as in Belgium, Japan, Sweden, Romania, Italy and USA. CDs include Caught (Composer's Ensemble), Testament (London Sinfonietta),  tss’k’haa (Roderick Williams) and 50 Florentine Breaths (Sara Minelli).​

Jonathan studied composition with a wide-range of teachers including Simon Bainbridge, Simon Holt, David Lumsdaine, Malcolm Williamson and Peter Weigold, taking part in courses with Louis Andriessen, Lou Harrison and Magnus Lindberg and graduating with a PhD in composition from Royal Holloway in 2001.

Popular as a teacher of young composers, he has taught at the Royal College of Music for many years where he leads the Master's course in composition. From 2013 - 2020 he led the Composer's Studio Ensemble, bringing in contemporary music specialists to work with the students on their music and for the last 12 years he's led weekly free improvisation classes. Prior to joining the RCM he taught at King's College London and the Purcell School. He's given lectures on his work at City University, Gresham's College, Oxford University, RAM and RNCM and has led educational projects for the South Bank. In 2007 - 2012 he co-led the Leverhulme LPO young composer's scheme with Mark Anthony Turnage and in 2016 and 2017 he was a guest teacher at the Ionian University in Corfu. In 2018 he was awarded a Fellowship by the RCM.