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.

Current projects include a commission from pianists Ursula Oppens and Jerome Lowenthal for a new four-hand work, plus new works with Periapsis Music and Dance. The spring of 2018 saw the premiere of his first string quartet, commissioned by choreographer Sarah Berges, with Sarah Berges Dance and the Mivos Quartet, and the premiere of Epoch, with choreographer Erin Dillon and Periapsis Music and Dance, supported by a commissioning grant from the O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation. Recent seasons featured premiere performances of Europa, a solo piano work commissioned by Winston Choi with a grant from New Music USA, in Chicago, New York, Orléans (France), Tallahassee, and Bloomington (Indiana); a debut performance at Jacob’s Pillow Dance; and numerous performances in New York.

Additional commissions have included the Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation, Concert Artists Guild, and others. Dr. Katz’s music has been performed by the Da Capo Chamber PlayersCygnus EnsembleEnsemble PiAlia Musica Pittsburgh, pianist Daria Rabotkina, violinists Ari Streisfeld and Caroline Chin, flutist Linda Wetherill, tenors Chris Lysack and Nils Neubert, soprano Mary Mackenzie, and others. In February 2014, he conducted the premiere of his chamber ballet Laid upon the children on the Music of Now Marathon at Symphony Space, and in January 2015 he presented Trace at the Festival of New Music at Florida State University.

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 CurranManuel VignoulleKatarzyna Skarpetowska, and Periapsis Music and Dance’s residents 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 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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