Jonas Tarm



Age 25; born in Tallinn, Estonia; Resident of Boston, USA


Jonas has focused in recent years primarily on work as a composer for the concert stage and film. Various ensembles have commissioned him to write original music, including the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, New York Virtuoso Singers, Chicago Beethoven Festival and the Estonian XXVII Song Festival. His work has also been performed worldwide by ensembles such as the Wurttemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn in Germany, Camerata Notturna Orchestra in New York, New World Symphony Players in Miami – among others.

Jonas has worked as a composer and music producer for film production companies such as Studio 1H Media and Mida’s Cave. He is currently working on a film score for Mida Chu’s film There Was a Beginning which was recorded in November 2018 by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. The film and soundtrack is set to be released in 2019.

Jonas has worked closely with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra: they have premiered four of Jonas’ major works to date.

As a conductor, Jonas has collaborated with and premiered works of his colleagues, including composers Christopher McCarthy, Luis Ruelas and Krish Jaiman.

Jonas is also active as music teacher. He has been a guest lecturer at the National Estonian Academy of Music and he currently works as a private composition and conducting teacher in the Boston area.



Jonas’s music has been performed in venues around the world: Miami’s New World Center, Beijing Forbidden City Concert Hall in China, Merkin Concert Hall in New York, Altenhof Kuhhaus in Germany, Pärnu Music Festival in Estonia are to name a few. Jonas’s music has also been frequently heard on Chicago’s 98.7 WFMT classical radio station, Estonia’s ERR Classical Radio and Estonian National TV.

Jonas’s compositions have received numerous awards including the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation Morton Gould Composition Competition Award and National YoungArts Award for Music Composition. Complete list awards, scholarships and grants are below.


Winner of Camerata Notturna Inaugural Call for Scores Competition (2015)

New England Conservatory’s Chamber Music Honors Composition Competition (2014)

New England Conservatory’s Orchestral Composition Competition (2014)

New York Youth Symphony First Music Composition Competition Winner (2015)

USA National YoungArts Finalist 1st Level Rank (Music Composition (2013)

1st Place in USA Music Teacher’s National Association (MTNA) Nationwide Composition Contest Winner (2012)

American Composers, Authors and Publishers Society (ASCAP) Foundation Morton Gould Composition Competition Award (2012)

1st Place in Music Institute of Chicago’s Generation Next Competition (2012)

1st Place in Illinois Music Educators Association Chamber Music Composition Competition
Category (2012)

Kal Novak Musicianship Award (2010-2012)


New England Conservatory Merit Scholarship (2012-2016 & 2017–2019)

Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy Merit Scholarship (2010-2012) Estonian Students Fund in USA (2013–2015)

Estonian Cultural Heritage Fund (2012)

KULKA Cultural Endowment of Estonia (2013-2014)

New England Conservatory Beneficent Society Scholarship (2013)

Highland Park High School YEA Scholarship (2012)



Peter Eom

Alexander Hersh

Alec Holcomb

Isaac Levien

Christopher McCarthy

Kenneth Renshaw

Inmo Yang

David Adewumi

Robby Brown

Jacob Hiser

Russell Holzman

Taeguk Mun

Allison Poh

Fiel Sahir

Hee-Soo Yoon




Jonas started studying music in Estonia. At 7, he began violin studies at Tallinn’s Vanalinna Hariduskolleegium, and also sang in one of the school’s boys choirs. At 10, his family moved to Chicago, where his musical education kicked into high gear, including violin studies with Portuguese violinist Gerardo Ribeiro and composition with Matthew Hagle at the Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy. Jonas began collecting scores at age 12, with an early fondness for Mahler and Beethoven. At 14, he completed his first composition for solo piano.



(random order – list forever incomplete )


Zakir Hussain, Wynton Marsalis, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Martin Fröst, Truls Mørk, Thelonious Monk, Bobby McFerrin, Moonchild, Shirley Horn, Sarah Vaughan, Not Blood Paint, Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, Quatuor Ébène, Pacifica Quartet, Emerson Quartet, Omar Souleyman, Nat King Cole, Marcel Khalife, Major Holley, Guarneri Quartet, Vulfpeck, Martin Kuuskmann, Shrek is Love, Lionel Loueke, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Jason Moran, Janine Jansen, Ivry Gitlis, Hiatus Kaiyote, Herbie Hancock, Helen Merrill, Yo-Yo Ma, Gautier Capoçon, Fritz Wunderlich, Vladimir Horowitz, Jascha Heifetz, David Oistrakh, Frank Sinatra, Etta Jones, Betty Carter, Krystian Zimerman, Fazil Say, Esperanza Spalding, Louis Armstrong, Eighth Blackbird, Chet Baker, Brock Berrigan, Billie Holiday, Barbara Hannigan, Bill Evans, The Beatles, Ambrose Akinmusire, Alfredo Rodriguez, Al Green,’s, Bryn Terfel, Ray Charles, Arthur Rubinstein, Belcea Quartet, Han-Na Chang, Gidon Kremer.


Bela Bartok, Witold Lutosławski, Sergei Prokofiev, Veljo Tormis, Quincy Jones, Zygmunt Krauze, George Crumb, Osvaldo Golijov, Olivier Messiaen, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Johann S. Bach, Dmitri Shostakovich, Igor Stravinsky, Arvo Pärt, György Ligeti, Gustav Mahler, Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, Alfred Schnittke, Wolfgang A. Mozart, John Corigliano, Richard Strauss, Maurice Ravel, Richard Wagner.


Teodor Currentzis, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Georg Solti, Sir John Barbirolli, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Willem Mengelberg, Paavo Järvi, Neeme Järvi, Kristjan Järvi, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Valery Gergiev, Otto Klemperer, Fritz Reiner, Sergiu Celibidache.


[Brackets] indicate specific favorite tracks/compositions
(random order – list forever incomplete )


Invasion Parade (Alfredo Rodriguez)

ALL RISE: A Joyful Elegy For Fats Waller (Jason Moran)

Please Rewind (Moonchild)

Inspired by Bach: The Cello Suites (Yo-Yo Ma)

Balkan Brass Band (Balkan Brass Band)

Balkan Brass Battle (Fanfare Ciocărlia)

Mozart: Early Symphonies Vol. 2 [Symphony 25] (Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Concentus Musicus Wien)

I Remember Miles (Shirley Horn)

To Pimp a Butterfly (Kendrick Lamar)

Mozart: Requiem [2004] (Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Concentus Musicus Wien)

Complete Beethoven Recordings (Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Chamber Orchestra of Europe)

Mahler: Symphony No. 10 – Deryck Cooke (Simon Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic)

Icons of Indian Classical Music: Ustad Zakir Hussain (Zakir Hussain)

Choose Your Weapon (Hiatus Kaiyote)

Beethoven: The 9 Symphonies (John Eliot Gardiner, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique)

From the Plantation To the Penitentiary (Wynton Marsalis)

Birdman [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] (Antonio Sánchez)

Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 39, 40 & 41 (Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Concentus Musicus Wien)

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto / Clarinet Quintet (Martin Fröst, Peter Oundjian, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Vertavo

The Liszt Recordings [Sonata in B Minor] (Krystian Zimerman)

Schubert: Quintet and Lieder [Quintet in C Major] (Quatour Ébène)

Manuel Hidalgo: Beethoven Große Fuge (Lothar Zagrosek, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln)

Bomb the Twist (’s)

Shrek is Love, Vol. 1: This is My Swamp (Shrek is Love)

Britten: Cello Suites [Suite No. 1 in G] (Truls Mørk)

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 (Brenard Haitink, Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

Tracing Astor (Gidon Kremer)

Solo [Zoltán Kodály: Sonata for Solo Cello] (Yo-Yo Ma)

Magic Hour (Wynton Marsalis)


‘Round About Midnight (Miles Davis)

Bitches Brew (Miles Davis)

Igor Stravinsky: Le sacre du printemps [10 Various Recordings] (100th Anniversary Collectors Edition)

Corigliano: Of Rage and Remembrance; Symphonies No. 1 (Leonard Slatkin, National Symphony Orchestra)

Brahms: Piano Pieces [Op. 119 No. 1 Intermezzo in B minor] (Richard Goode)

Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde (Otto Klemperer, Christa Ludwig, Fritz Wunderlich, New Philharmonia Orchestra)

The Voice (Bobby McFerrin)

Sinatra at the Sands (Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Quincy Jones)

Ella and Louis (Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong)

Whisper Not (Ella Fitzgerald)

Chet Baker Sings (Chet Baker)

Mahler: Symphony No. 9 (Herbert von Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic)

Bartók Complete Recordings (Georg Solti, Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

Kind of Blue (Miles Davis)

Sketches of Spain (Miles Davis)

Mahler: Symphony No. 5 [IV. Adagietto] (Hermann Scherchen, Philadelphia Orchestra)

Schubert: Quintet in C major (Cleveland Quartet, Yo-Yo Ma)

Bach: Goldberg Variations [1981 Recording] (Glenn Gould)

Ballads (John Coltrane)

Thembi (Pharoah Sanders)

Shostakovich: Symphony Nos. 5 & 9 (Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic)

Undercurrent (Bill Evans)

Mahler: Symphony No. 9 (Leonard Bernstein, Berlin Philharmonic)

Mahler: Symphony No. 4 in G (Willem Mengelberg, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra)

Solo Monk (Thelonious Monk)

Mahler: Symphony No. 6 (Sir John Barbirolli, New Philharmonia Orchestra)

Billie Holiday: The Complete Commodore/Decca Masters [I’ll be Seeing You, Strange Fruit, Lover Man] (Billie

But Beautiful (Nancy Wilson)

Revolver (The Beatles)

Motherlode (James Brown)

Funk Power 1970, A Brand New Thang (James Brown)

Schnittke: Concerto grosso No. 1 (Gidon Kremer, Chamber Orchestra of Europe)

Thriller (Michael Jackson)

Promises of the Storm (Marcel Khalife)

Mule (Major Holley)


Street photography, Board Games, Chess, Dancing Badly




New England Conservatory

Master of Music in Composition (2017-2019)
Bachelor of Music in Composition with Honors (2012-2016)

Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy Program (2010-2012)
Meadowmount School of Music (2009)


Composition: Michael Gandolfi, Stratis Minakakis, Anthony Coleman, John Mallia, Matt Hagle, Mischa Zupko
Conducting: Charles Peltz, Erica Washburn, Paul Mägi
Violin: Gerardo Ribeiro, Desiree Ruhstrat
Harmony: Lyle Davidson


American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
Member – Composer and Publisher

Estonian Authors’ Society (EAÜ)
Member – Composer

Estonian Composers Union
Member – Composer

Estonian Music Information Center (EMIC)
Member – Composer

Header Photo by Kaupo Kikkas & Ilmar Saabas/Ekspress Meedia