Jonathan Woolgar


Jonathan Woolgar draws from a wide range of musical experience to create work that is communicative without compromise. His music explores the lines between musical eloquence and ineloquence, and between the fragmentary and the symphonic, with a focus on the physical, human dimensions of live performance on acoustic instruments.

Jonathan’s music has been performed at the Bridgewater Hall, Royal Albert Hall and Basilica San Marco, Venice by performers such as Manchester Camerata, Onyx Brass, Aurora Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as broadcast several times on BBC Radio 3. In 2010, Jonathan won BBC Young Composer, and has since been Composer in Residence at Eton College for 2015-17 and at Cambridge University Musical Society for 2016-17. Jonathan has done several major projects with soprano Héloïse Werner, most recently Song-Messages which was performed at the Red House, Aldeburgh in 2019 as part of Britten’s birthday concert. Other recent projects include writing for the London Symphony Orchestra as part of the Panufnik Composers Scheme and a premiere at the Wigmore Hall. Jonathan was a Royal Philharmonic Society composer for 2020-21, as part of which Canzoni et Ricercari was premiered by the 12 Ensemble at the 2021 Cheltenham Music Festival. Current projects include a commission from the Royal Academy of Music for their 200th anniversary celebrations, and a new orchestral work for the London Symphony Orchestra’s 2022-23 season.

Whilst currently based in London, Jonathan originally hails from Pontefract in West Yorkshire. He attended Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester from 2008-10, studying composition with Jeremy Pike and Gavin Wayte. From 2010-13 he read music at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge where he studied composition with Giles Swayne, before going on to study with David Sawer at the Royal Academy of Music. He has recently completed a PhD supervised by Julian Anderson at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and has an active teaching career.

Composer Website