Rising star of the cello Jonathan Swensen is the recipient of the 2022 Avery Fisher Career Grant and was recently featured as both Musical America’s ‘New Artist of the Month’ and ‘One to Watch’ in Gramophone Magazine. Jonathan first fell in love with the cello upon hearing the Elgar Concerto at the age of six, and ultimately made his concerto debut performing that very piece with Portugal’s Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música.
September 2022 saw the release of Jonathan’s debut recording ‘Fantasia’, on Champs Hill Records, an album of works for solo cello which received rave reviews on its release, including from Gramophone, BBC Music, and The Strad which printed “An exciting young talent emerges. I would gladly buy a ticket to see Swensen on the strength of this appealing calling card.”
Jonathan has performed with orchestras including the Philharmonia Orchestra, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Mobile Symphony, and the Greenville Symphony. He made his critically acclaimed recital debuts at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater and New York’s Merkin Concert Hall, with additional performances in Boston’s Jordan Hall, the Morgan Library and Museum, and the Krannert Center’s Foellinger Great Hall.
In addition to his many solo appearances, Jonathan is a frequent performer of chamber music in the U.S. and Europe, appearing at the Tivoli Festival, Copenhagen Summer Festival, Chamberfest Cleveland, Krzyżowa-Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Vancouver Recital Society, San Francisco Performances, and the Usedomer Musikfestival, among others.
Jonathan will join the Bowers Program of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in 2024. He has captured First Prizes at the 2019 Windsor International String Competition, 2018 Khachaturian International Cello Competition, and the 2018 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. A graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Jonathan continued his studies with Torleif Thedéen at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, and Laurence Lesser at the New England Conservatory, where he received his Artist Diploma in May 2023.
The 2022-23 season sees Jonathan Swensen returning to the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra under Hartmut Haenchen and the NFM Leopoldinum in a play-direct programme, as well as his debut with the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra under Douglas Boyd. He will also appear performing the Dvorak Concerto with the Slovak State Philharmonic Košice both in Košice and at the Festival Allegretto Žilina following his recital debut in 2022, where he was awarded the Festival Prize for the most distinguished performance. In the U.S., he performs Shostakovich’s 2nd Concerto with the New England Conservatory Philharmonia and Hugh Wolff, Lalo Concerto with Aiken Symphony in South Carolina, give recitals at the Casals Festival and the Morgan Library and Museum, and performs chamber music at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Chamberfest West, and Camerata Pacifica.
Jonathan has captured First Prizes at the 2019 Windsor International String Competition, 2018 Khachaturian International Cello Competition, a recipient of the Musikanmelderringens Artist Prize in 2020, and the Jacob Gades Scholarship in 2019 in Denmark. He made his critically acclaimed recital debuts at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater and New York’s Merkin Concert Hall under the auspices of Young Concert Artists in 2020 after winning first prize in the YCA International Auditions in 2018. A graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Jonathan continued his studies with Torleif Thedéen at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, and Laurence Lesser at the New England Conservatory, where he will complete his Artist Diploma in May 2023.