Jonathan Brown was appointed Musical Director of Malvern Festival Chorus in April 2018.
Jonathan was a chorister at New College, Oxford, a music scholar at Sherborne School, and a choral scholar at Royal Holloway College, from where he embarked on a professional singing and teaching career, which he still maintains. After being a Lay Vicar in Chichester Cathedral, he was appointed as a Lay Clerk in Winchester Cathedral, initially under David Hill and then Andrew Lumsden. Jonathan has toured, recorded and broadcast extensively with a number of choirs, touring Australia, the USA and across Europe (including Gottingen, Hanover and the Frauenkirche in Dresden, all with Nicholas McGegan) and, domestically, has sung with the BBC Singers in two Promenade Concerts with the late Richard Hickox and Jukka-Pekka Saraste. As Director of Music at Pangbourne College (where he was for 8 years) he conducted a service from the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel in June 2007 in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen, the Prime Minister and assembled dignitaries, commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Falkland Islands conflict, which was broadcast live globally on BBC1 and on national radio. He is currently the Director of Music at Malvern College.
On the solo platform his repertoire ranges from Monteverdi to Lutoslawski, and he has performed with a number of orchestras – most notably Florilegium, the Philharmonia, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonietta. Selected repertoire includes Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion, B minor Mass, Britten’s Noye’s Fludde (Noah), Mendelssohn’s Elijah,Handel’s Messiah, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, Haydn’s Creation, Vaughan Williams’ 5 Mystical songs and Dona Nobis Pacem, and various smaller-scale works by Mozart, Puccini, Schubert and Rossini, as well as the requiems of Faure, Brahms, Mozart, Durufle and Howells. He has performed extensively around the world, including the major cities of Australia, San Francisco, Atlanta, Frankfurt, Florence, and domestically in several Cathedrals across England and the Royal Albert Hall. He is keen to further explore the 20th Century English song repertoire – when time allows!
As a conductor, Jonathan was the Musical Director of Pangbourne Choral Society, a group that numbered up to 140 singers. Performances included Mozart’s Requiem and Solemn Vespers, Bach’s St John Passion (on period instruments), Durufle’s Requiem (orchestrated), Janacek’s Otcenas, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Bach’s Magnificat, Finzi’s In Terra Pax, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Brahms’ Requiem, Barber’s Adagio for strings, Mahler’s Adagietto, a programme of music for the Royal Accession including all of Handel’s Coronation anthems, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Walton’s Coronation Te Deum, and even a scratch performance of Handel’s Messiah with 240 singers! In 2013, he presented Goodall’s Eternal Light, Tippett’s 5 Negro Spirituals, Verdi’s Stabat Mater and Haydn’s Nelson Mass (again, on period instruments), whilst 2014 was his final season which coincided with the Society’s 40th anniversary with Mendelssohn’s Elijah and a final Gala concert. He works regularly with professional orchestras and international soloists such as Clare Rutter, Carys Lane, Richard Coxon, Lynton Atkinson, Stephen Gadd, Quentin Hayes and Giles Underwood and is building on his reputation as a creative and challenging programmer.
Jonathan is married to Rebecca who as a singing teacher, is increasingly in demand , and they have two daughters – Jessica and Helen – who are both musicians and, between them, play an eclectic mix of violin, percussion, piano, cello and saxophone whilst holding university choral scholarships when their PhD studies allow. Molly, the Cocker Spaniel, was a most promising vocalist in her younger years, whilst her daughter – Saffy – has yet to declare her musical intentions, but seems, increasingly, to be following in her mother’s footsteps and particularly enjoys brass music…