In just a few years, Jonathan Stockhammer has made a name for himself in the worlds of opera, symphonic repertoire, and contemporary music. He first studied Chinese and political science before moving on to studies in composition and conducting in his hometown of Los Angeles. During his studies, he filled in for a series of concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, after which he was asked to become chief conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen’s assistant. After completing his studies, Jonathan Stockhammer moved to Germany where he formed close relationships with well-known European ensembles such as Ensemble Modern, Collegium Novum Zürich and Ensemble Resonanz. As a superb communicator, he has a great talent not only for presenting concerts but also for working on an equal footing with a variety of performers – whether they are young musicians and rappers or stars such as Imogen Heap or the Pet Shop Boys.
Opera is central to Jonathan Stockhammer’s work. The operas he has conducted, including Die Dreigroschenoper, Zemlinsky‘s Eine florentinische Tragödie, Sciarrino‘s Luci mie traditrici and Monkey: Journey to the West by Damon Albarn, identify him as a conductor who welcomes and masters the difficulties presented by complex scores and special, interdisciplinary productions. He has been a regular guest at the Opéra de Lyon since first appearing there in 1998, where he has since conducted the successful French premiere of Dusapin’s Faustus, the Last Night. In 2009, he premiered Wolfgang Rihm’s Proserpina with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, and also conducted the orchestra in Rihm’s Deus Passus. In 2010, he conducted the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in a production of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music at the Théâtre du Châtelet Paris. In February 2013, he made his debut at the New York City Opera in Thomas Adès’ Powder Her Face. In the spring of 2016, he made his debut at the Vienna State Opera in a new production of Peter Eötvös‘s Tri Sestri (Three Sisters) and premiered Georg Friedrich Haas‘s new opera KOMA at the Schwetzingen Festival.
Jonathan Stockhammer has worked with numerous renowned orchestras such as the Oslo Philharmonic, NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared at the Salzburg Festival, Lucerne Festival, Donaueschingen Festival, Biennale Venice and Wien Modern.
Aside from conducting classical and romantic masterpieces and contemporary classical works, Jonathan Stockhammer enjoys delving into music that blurs the boundaries between classical music, rock, pop, and hip-hop. His CD Greggery Peccary & Other Persuasions with Ensemble Modern (RCA, 2003), featuring works by Frank Zappa, won an Echo Klassik Award. He also recorded a new soundtrack to Sergei Eisensteins’s 1925 film The Battleship Potemkin, composed and performed by the Pet Shop Boys. His live recording of The New Crystal Silence with Chick Corea, Gary Burton and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra won a Grammy in 2009. His collaboration with spoken word artist Saul Williams on Said the Shotgun to the Head, featuring music composed by Thomas Kessler, has also been particularly successful. To date, he has conducted the work with the WDR Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Oslo Philharmonic.
Highlights of his 2016/17 season include appearances at the Wiener Festwochen, at which he will conduct the opening concert (with the Vienna Symphony) and four performances of Benedikt von Peter’s production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail (with the Camerata Salzburg). Jonathan Stockhammer will also make his debuts at the Theatre Basel with Philip Glass’ Satyagraha in a coproduction with Komische Oper Berlin, and with the Philharmonia Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover and Düsseldorf Symphony.