Tuesday, May 23, 2023

June in Buffalo 2023 Director and Senior Composer: Jonathan Golove


In December, the Center announced the retirement of David Felder, who restarted June in Buffalo in 1986 and led the festival for a truly astounding 37 consecutive seasons. We also announced David’s successor in the twin posts of Center and June in Buffalo director, cellist/composer Jonathan Golove. In the lead-up to Dr. Golove’s first year in the role of Festival Director, we’re pleased to introduce him in the first of a series of the Edge of the Center posts on the senior composers and resident ensembles of June in Buffalo 2023.

Jonathan is by no means a newcomer to JiB! His first year as a performer and participant composer was 1994, and he has been active at the festival in various capacities nearly every June since then. In 2001, he served as senior composer, and in 2013 and 2015, as artist faculty for the June in Buffalo Performance Institute, which ran concurrently with the main festival. He has appeared as a soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic (Morton Feldman’s Cello and Orchestra), as a member of the Slee Sinfonietta and Baird Trio, among other ensembles, and as a solo performer. Among his original works heard at June in Buffalo are E.Q. for electric string quartet, Closely Related Fungi for saxophone quartet, and (Max’s 24 Hours) Pray-O-Mat for two cellos and IRCAM Signal Processing Workstation.

Golove’s compositional interests are broad, with special areas of focus on the relational dynamics of chamber music, work with text and voice, including opera, and the expansion of the performing instrumentalist’s affective and timbral palette through electronic instruments and modifications. Jonathan began composing as an undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley, where his first composer mentor was John Swackhammer (1923-2006), himself a student of Ernst Krenek and Roger Sessions. He earned an M.M. degree in composition with Donald Erb (1927-2008) at The Cleveland Institute of music, and his Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo in 1998, with David Felder as his principal teacher and dissertation advisor. 

Mr. Golove’s original compositions have been performed at venues including the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C., Venice Biennale, Festival of Aix-en-Provence, Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society II, Encuentro Internacional de Jazz y Música Viva (Monterrey, Mexico), Centre Court Festival (Cologne, Germany) and the Kitchen. He has received awards and grants for his work from organizations including ASCAP, the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, and Meet the Composer.

Photo: Irene Haupt

Jonathan Golove dedicates his cellistic energy to the performance of both new and traditional works, as well as of improvised music. His definition of “cellist” has expanded to include both the electric and theremin cellos, along with a plethora of means of modifying the sounds they produce. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout North America and Europe at venues including Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall), Zipper Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and London’s Southbank Centre. His summer appearances include numerous festivals devoted to new works, including the Holland Festival (Amsterdam), Festival d’Automne (Paris), Lincoln Center Festival, June in Buffalo, and the Festival del Centro Histórico (Mexico City).

One of only a handful of players of the theremin cello, Golove has appeared as soloist with the Asko/Schoenberg Ensemble, London Sinfonietta, and International Contemporary Ensemble, and he is a member of the 1. Deutsche Stromorchester. As an electric cellist, he is particularly active in the fields of creative improvised music and avant-garde jazz. He has performed and recorded with jazz groups including the Michael Vlatkovich Tryyo and Quartet, Ubudis Quartet, and Vinny Golia’s Large Ensemble, and made appearances at the Vancouver Jazz Festival, the Eddie Moore Jazz Festival (Oakland), and the International Meeting of Jazz and New Music (Monterrey, Mexico). He has recorded for the Albany, Centaur, FMR, pfMENTUM, and Nine Winds labels, and his performances and interviews have been heard in broadcasts by numerous National Public Radio stations, as well as on Radio Nuevo León, West German Radio, CBC, and Radio France.

Jonathan is an Associate Professor in UB’s Department of Music and served as department chair for the past six years. He looks forward to welcoming an inspiring group of participant composers to June in Buffalo 2023! He is also excited to work with performer colleagues from JiB’s resident ensembles to present a trio of his original works spanning several decades. Golove is honored to be joined by Arditti Quartet cellist (and founding member of Ensemble Recherche) Lucas Fels in Some Road Signs in Southern France (1988/89) for cello duo, a set of miniatures he composed during a year studying in Cologne. Talujon will partner with soprano Tiffany DuMouchelle to perform Here and There (1993) for soprano and percussion ensemble, with text by the award-winning poet Susan Lewis. Tiffany will also sing Imaginary Songs II (2004), a second collaboration between Golove and Lewis, in the company of flutist Nicole Murray and cellist Katie Weissman of the Slee Sinfonietta.

Jonathan Golove, Mental Radio 

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