Please visit the Jonathan D. Kramer Memorial Fund web page for much more information on Prof. Kramer's career and legacy.
Jonathan D. Kramer was born on 7 December 1942 in Hartford, Connecticut. He received his B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. His composition teachers included Karlheinz Stockhausen, Roger Sessions, Leon Kirchner, Seymour Shifrin, Andrew Imbrie, Richard Felciano, Jean-Claude Eloy, Billy Jim Layton, Edwin Dugger, and Arnold Franchetti. He studied theory with David Lewin, criticism with Joseph Kerman, and computer music with John Chowning.
Professor of Composition and Theory at Columbia University since 1988, Jonathan previously taught at Oberlin Conservatory, Yale University and University of Cincinnati. He held visiting appointments at Wesleyan University, King's College of the University of London, the Canberra School of Music, the University of Western Australia, the Rockefeller Study Center in Bellagio (Italy), the Center for New Music and Technology (Berkeley), May in Miami, the ISCM Summer Workshop for Composers (Poland), and the European Mozart Academy (Poland). Jonathan served four years as Program Annotator of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, was Annotator of the Cincinnati Symphony since 1980, and a collection of his program notes, Listen to the Music, was published by Schirmer Books. He was the Cincinnati Symphony's Composer-in-Residence and New-Music Advisor from 1984 to 1992 and served as artist in residence of The Moebius Ensemble since 1997. Jonathan produced and hosted several local and national radio programs and represented American Public Radio three times at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris.
Jonathan's honors included a Barlow Endowment Commission, the Ohio Governor's Award for Individual Artists, three composer Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, an Independent Research Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Alienor Harpsichord Composition Award, three Individual Artist Fellowship Grants from the Ohio Arts Council, the Koussevitzky Prize, and the Copland Grant.
Several of Jonathan's compositions were published by G. Schirmer and MMB, and recorded on the Advance, Orion, Opus One, Grenadilla, and Leonarda labels. His music was performed at the ISCM's World Music Days: Musica Pro Musica for orchestra (1992, Poland), Music for Piano, Number 5 (1985, Netherlands), and Renascence for clarinet and electronics (1980, Israel). Jonathan represented the United States at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris, where his music was selected for worldwide broadcasts: Music for Piano, Number 5 (in 1984) and Atlanta Licks (in 1992). His music has been played in twenty-three countries by London Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Seattle Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Cincinnati Chamber Orchstra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Verdehr Trio, Bridgehampton Chamber Music, New York New Music Ensemble, Moebius, Speculum Musicae, North/South Consonance, and the Cincinnati, Warsaw, Mannes and Blackearth Percussion Groups to name a few. Performers of Kramer's works have included Richard Stolzman, Andre-Michel Schub, Aleck Karis, Geoffrey Madge, Deborah Bradley, Jean Kopperud, Roger Smalley, Fred Sherry, Norman Fischer, Eric Bartlett, Mark Peskanov, James Preiss, Gerard Schwarz, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Michael Gielen, Gerhard Samuel and Theodore Antoniou.
Active as a theorist, Jonathan wrote numerous books and articles, and appeared over a hundred times as guest lecturer in the United States and throughout Europe and Asia. He was vice-president of the International Society for the Study of Time and served on the Publications and Program Committees of the Society for Music Theory. He was on the editorial board of Perspectives of New Music and was regional co-editor for the United States of Contemporary Music Review. His books include The Time of Music (Schirmer Books) and an edited collection, Time in Contemporary Musical Thought (Gordon and Breach). At the time of his death he had just completed a book on music and postmodernism and a cello composition for the American Holocaust Museum.
- Obsessions (2001). Score published by MMB.
- Rewind: a Semi-Suite (2000, rev. 2003). Score published by MMB.
- Remembrance of a People (1996). Score published by MMB.
- Serbelloni Serenade (1995) for clarinet, violin, and piano. Score published by MMB. Recording by the Verdehr Trio available on American Images (1993) Crystal Records 942.
- Cincy in C (1994) for orchestra. Score published by MMB.
- Notta Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion (1993). Score published by MMB.
- Another Sunrise (1990) for chamber ensemble. Score published by MMB.
- About Face (1989, rev. 1991) for orchestra. Score published by MMB.
- Musica Pro Musica (1987) for orchestra. Score published by MMB. Recording available on Jonathan Kramer: Five Compositions Leonarda LE 332
- Atlanta Licks (1984) for chamber ensemble. Score published by MMB. Recording available on Jonathan Kramer: Five Compositions Leonarda LE 332
- No Beginning, No End (1983) for chorus and orchestra. Score published by MMB.
- Moments in and out of Time, (1983) for orchestra. Score published by G. Schirmer.
- Licks (1981) for three string basses. Score published by MMB.
- Music for Piano, Number 5 (1980). Score published by G. Schirmer. Recording available on Jonathan Kramer: Five Compositions Leonarda LE 332
- Renascence, (1974) for clarinet and electronics. Score published by G. Schirmer. Recording available on Jonathan Kramer: Five Compositions Leonarda LE 332
- One for Five in Seven, Mostly (1971) for woodwind quintet. Score published by MMB.
- Music for Piano, Number 3 (1968). Recording available on Jonathan Kramer: Five Compositions Leonarda LE 332