Jonathan has dedicated his life to music. He is a firm believer that music should be accessible to everyone.
During his time with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Jonathan had the privilege of witnessing the collaboration between the Gulbenkian and the Orquestra Geração – a musical project inspired by the Simón Bolívar Orchestra of Venezuela. These types of projects take music into inner cities to less advantaged children who don’t have the opportunity to play and study an instrument. This experience helps the students to develop self-confidence, a sense of responsibility and teamwork, and learn to express themselves freely through music.
“Music should be inclusive, not exclusive. Every child regardless of wealth or standing should have an opportunity to study an instrument. My education was in the state school system in England, where music was a big part of the curriculum in those days. Later at secondary school, peripatetic teachers would come in and teach individual music lessons. This is no longer happening, and music is no longer considered to be important. It is incredibly sad to see music become an elitist subject that is no longer open to everyone.”
Jonathan has always been involved in community musical projects for both adults and children. He has conducted community choirs and amateur orchestras, and directed amateur productions of Gilbert & Sullivan operas and more recently a Stephen Sondheim musical.
In Limerick, Ireland, Jonathan is the Musical Director of the historic St. John’s Brass and Reed Band, and has been working on a pilot scheme with the Garryowen Community Development Project, to take music into local schools and the wider Garryowen community. The aim is to help community members have access to a musical opportunity in the form of learning an instrument, joining a choir or other musical activities.