Age 26; born in Tallinn, Estonia; Resident of New York City
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, Boston Musica Viva 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 closely with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra: they have premiered four of Jonas’ major works to date.
Jonas recently released his first album There Was a Beginning – a soundtrack recorded by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra for Mida Chu’s film There Was a Beginning. Additional film credits include, Netflix production of Oscar winning filmmaker Charlie Kaufman’s movie I am Thinking of Ending Things (Composer Assistant to Jay Wadley), and Lionsgate production of Neil Burger’s movie Voyagers (Recording Session Supervisor for Trevor Gureckis).
Jonas has worked on several major projects as engraver, editor, orchestrator and arranger for publishers including Bärenreiter Verlag, Boosey & Hawkes Berlin, G. Schirmer; organizations New York City Ballet, Canadian Opera Company, Boston Philharmonic; composers Wayne Shorter, and Rufus Wainwright.
Jonas is also active as a music teacher: He has been a guest lecturer at the Estonian Academy of Music and he currently works as a private composition and conducting teacher in the New York City area.
As a conductor, Jonas has collaborated with and premiered works of his colleagues, including composers Christopher McCarthy, Luis Ruelas and Krish Jaiman.
Chicago Beethoven Festival
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.
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
Kal Novak Musicianship Award (2010-2012)
SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS
US State Department Small Grant Program
New England Conservatory Francis Judd Cooke Scholarship (2017–2019)
New England Conservatory Merit Scholarship (2012-2016)
Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy Merit Scholarship (2010-2012)
Estonian Students Fund in USA
Estonian Cultural Heritage Fund
KULKA Cultural Endowment of Estonia
New England Conservatory Beneficent Society Scholarship
Highland Park High School YEA Scholarship
PERFORMERS OF JONAS’S MUSIC
German Federal Amateur Orchestra
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.
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
Header Photo by Kaupo Kikkas & Ilmar Saabas/Ekspress Meedia