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.
Current projects include a violin and piano work commissioned by Emily Popham Gillins; a large-scale solo vocal work to be premiered jointly by Stephanie Lamprea, Sophie Delphis, Zen Wu, and Emily Solo; and a large cycle of solo piano works, titled Ipseities, each written for a different choreographer. The latter was conceived and created during the pandemic shutdown to connect with other artists while in quarantine, and will include two dozen works, totaling around two hours of music.
Dr. Katz’s music has been performed by the Mivos Quartet, Da Capo Chamber Players, Periapsis Music and Dance, Cygnus Ensemble, Ensemble Pi, and Alia Musica Pittsburgh; pianists Ursula Oppens, Jerome Lowenthal, Winston Choi, and Daria Rabotkina; violinists Ari Streisfeld and Caroline Chin; vocalists Mary Mackenzie, Chris Lysack, Emily 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 Guild, New Music USA, the O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation, the Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation, and numerous individuals.
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, and to date he has composed over a dozen works for dance in collaboration with nine choreographers. Recent collaborators include Seán Curran, Manuel Vignoulle, Kate Skarpetowska, Ask la Cour, Kyla Barkin, Da’ Von Doane, and Periapsis Music and Dance’s resident choreographers Erin Dillon and Hannah Weber. 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.
Dr. Katz holds degrees in piano performance from Indiana University, New 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.
For more information, please visit jonathanhowardkatz.com.