Bio & CV

The first song I learnt to play was the Toploader version of Dancing in the Moonlight on piano. The first song I wrote came about two weeks later, and was very nearly the Toploader version of Dancing in the Moonlight. But despite limited creative input to my Opus 1, I couldn’t believe how much fun it was writing music.

While studying for my undergrad at SOAS in London I decided I wanted to bring an ensemble together to perform some of the things I’d been writing, and so began a grand recruitment tour of every orchestra, choir and ensemble I could find. Conductors, it turns out, are rather protective of their players, and every polite email requesting an audience with a group was less than politely declined. So I went rogue, sneaking into rehearsals during tea breaks to pounce on unsuspecting instrumentalists and accosting anyone carrying a violin case on the tube. At any rate, somehow I wound up with four talented, generous musicians for a rehearsal in a tiny, freezing room with hand-written parts. The sound of four personalities phrasing, shaping and speaking  parts I’d written with nuance so completely their own was extraordinary to me. This group became JMT, an ensemble I still run and write for, and convinced to get into composing in a more serious way.

Alongside writing for the concert hall, I’ve had the privilege of variously composing, musical directing, playing and singing across Europe and the Americas with Mercury nominee Sam Lee (accompanist since 2014), Deafinitely Theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe (Love’s Labour’s LostA Midsummer Night’s Dream),  Blind Summit at Soho Theatre (The Heads), Tenor Charles Castronovo at The King’s Head (Dolce Napoli), Night Light Theatre (Lamplighter’s Lament, Rift Zone), Trikhon Theatre (Dreams from a Bombshell), Tin Box (various projects) and many more, and also developing my own theatre piece, Daphnis Rising.

As well as writing and playing music, I operated the head of a 20 meter Voldemort puppet for the Olympic Opening Ceremony. Not strictly relevant, but a lot of fun.

CVs are available on request. If you are interested in a comission or collaboration, plese don’t hesitate to get in touch.

JonWhitten@hotmail.co.uk

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