Jonathan Howard Katz

Artistic Director and Co-Founder

Composer and pianist Jonathan Howard Katz is gaining increasing recognition for the unique immediacy and expressive depth of his music, which speaks to audiences and performers alike. Harnessing this intuitive grasp of communication, combined with a rigorous technical command, he has developed a strong artistic voice that is recognizable through a diverse body of work.

Highlights of the 2021-2022 season include six guest performances as piano soloist with New York City Ballet, with conductors Andrew Litton and Andrews Sill, and new works for Periapsis Music and Dance with choreographers Gabrielle Lamb, PeiJu Chien-Pott, and Evita Zacharioglou. Recent projects include a City Artist Corps Grant program at the DiMenna Center, featuring a full evening of his music; and Ipseities, a cycle of two dozen solo piano works, each written for a different choreographer. The latter was conceived and created during the pandemic shutdown to connect with other artists while in quarantine.

Dr. Katz’s music has been performed by the Mivos QuartetDa Capo Chamber Players, Periapsis Music and Dance, Cygnus EnsembleEnsemble Pi, and Alia Musica Pittsburgh; pianists Ursula OppensJerome LowenthalWinston Choi, and Daria Rabotkina; violinists Ari Streisfeld, Emily Popham Gillins, and Caroline Chin; flutist Annie Nikunen; clarinetist Gregory Oakes; vocalists Mary MackenzieChris LysackStephanie LampreaZen WuSophie DelphisEmily SoloEmily Hughes, and Nils Neubert; and many others. His music has been heard at the Music of Now Marathon at Symphony Space, the Festival of New Music at Florida State University, the Inside/Out Series at Jacob’s Pillow Dance, the Here and Now Labor Day Festival at Bargemusic, the International Piano Competition of Orléans, and at venues such as Merkin Concert Hall, the Kozciuszko Foundation, Atlantic Music Center, Spectrum, Roulette, and the Glinka Museum (Moscow).

Commissions and other support have come from Concert Artists GuildNew Music USA, the O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation, the Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation, and numerous individuals. Recent commissions include Berceuse (2021) for violin and piano, commissioned by violinist Emily Popham Gillins; and You were of that light (2022) for violin and piano (with additional versions for viola and piano, and cello and piano) commissioned by a consortium organized by Kate Marriott Mitchell, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the passing of the young violinist Georgia Marriott.

One of Dr. Katz’s major artistic interests has been developing collaborations with choreographers and dancers in which the music is equal to the movement in importance and intricacy. To date he has collaborated with over thirty choreographers, including Seán CurranManuel VignoulleKate Skarpetowska, Gabrielle Lamb, Alia Kache, Ask la Cour, Kyla Barkin, Da’ Von Doane, Zara Lawler, and Annie Nikunen. He is the artistic director and cofounder of Periapsis Music and Dance, curates the Periapsis Open Series in New York City, has taught music workshops and classes at the Peridance Capezio Center, and served as an adjunct teacher in the dance department at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He was also a guest pianist with New York City Ballet for their winter 2022 season and, in fall 2021, performed with legendary dancers Valentina Kozlova, Christine Dakin, Arthur Aviles, and PeiJu Chien-Pott on a program of historic repertoire.

Dr. Katz holds degrees in piano performance from Indiana UniversityNew England Conservatory, and Northwestern University. It was during his time in the Doctor of Music program at Northwestern that he returned to composition after a hiatus of over a decade, and recognition came immediately. He advanced in multiple international competitions, winning the Robert Helps Prize in 2010 for his song cycle Talking of Michelangelo. In 2011, he became one of the last people to receive the coveted Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education, which funded his composition studies in New York for four years and was worth over $150,000.

Dr. Katz studied composition primarily with Jason Eckardt and Tania León at the CUNY Graduate Center. His principal piano teachers were Ursula Oppens, Gabriel Chodos, and Edward Auer.

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