“ … He is, simply, an exceptional person, highly talented, quietly passionate in his desire to do the best for music in any way he can.” 
Oliver Knussen
Young conductor Jonathan Berman has been awarded a Kempinski Fellowship.  This fellowship, in recognition of his talents and his future on the podium, has enabled him already to spend time in America with the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst and in Miami with the New World Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas.   He returns to the UK to debut on 21 Feb at the Royal Academy of Music in a  programme of music by his mentor Oliver Knussen and by Elliott Carter that will culminate a week celebration of 'The Music of Oliver Knussen'.

Founded in 2009, the Kempinski Arts Programme works with arts organisations to increase cultural awareness, further international education in the arts and fulfill Kempinski’s commitment to refinement and culture. The programme differs from existing fellowships in that Kempinski provides the chosen candidates with a platform for their work and creativity, namely an international network stretching far beyond the boundaries of their native countries. The selection of candidates is made with the direct participation of arts professionals and mentors. Their input and involvement in the programme as joint supporters is invaluable in maintaining the highest standards and an objective selection.


Jonathan Berman makes his debut at the Academy with the Manson Ensemble in a programme dedicated to the works of Oliver Knussen.
Free pre-concert talk, 6.00pm: Head of Composition Philip Cashian talks to Oliver Knussen about his life and works.

19:00, 21 February 2014
Duke's Hall, RAM

Knussen: Fanfares for Tanglewood
Knussen: Ophelia Dances Bk. 1
Aleksandr Brusentsev: Breathing Room
Knussen: Requiem for Sue
Carter: ASKO concerto
Knussen: Coursing


One of the most striking elements has been his open and warm way of communicating … In his hands the music gets a good chance to develop expressively and his accurate conducting, in combination with the joy this young man shows, is a guarantee of the best possible performance.”
Jac Van Steen
Jonathan Berman is a young English conductor who already has an impressive repertory of operatic, orchestral, chamber and contemporary music.
In addition to concert work with orchestras such as the CBSO, Britten Sinfonia, Hagen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Southbank Sinfonia, opera is a significant part of Jonathan’s life.   He has already worked at the Royal Opera House, London, Grachten Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Tangelwood Music Centre, Barbican Centre, Holland Festival, Dutch National Opera Academy and the Anghiari Festival. As principle conductor he has conducted productions at Nationale Reis Opera, Grachten Festival, Opera Studio Netherlands, Centre for Opera Studies in Italy and Dutch National Opera Academy. 
As assistant conductor, Jonathan has worked regularly with Oliver Knussen, Sir Roger Norrington, Kenneth Montgomery and Ryan Wigglesworth, and was assistant conductor for the Saariaho Festival in Den Haag. 
Along with Jonathan’s experience with the core repertory, he has shown a great affinity, skill and musical understanding of contemporary music and its programming, earning him praise and encouragement from artists such as Oliver Knussen and Gunther Schuller.  Jonathan was also the conductor of the Ligeti Academy, a contemporary music group in Amsterdam, where, through numerous performances and workshops, he commissioned and premiered many new works from composers in Holland.
He studied in Holland with Jac van Steen, with whom he completed both Bachelor's and Master’s degrees. At Oliver Knussen’s invitation, Jonathan was a conducting Fellow at Tanglewood and has also studied with Kenneth Montgomery, Lucas Vis, Stefan Ashbury, George Hurst, Arjan Tien and Leonid Korchmar (Mariinsky theatre, St Petersburg). Jonathan also studied violoncello with Sue Lowe and Dimitri Ferschtman.
Jonathan Berman has been awarded the Kempinski Arts Programme F
ellowship for 2014.

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