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Associate Professor of Music

Jon Magnussen’s music has been described as "hauntingly beautiful" (Salt Lake Tribune), “beautifully textured" (NY Times), and "thoughtful... deeply imaginative" (L.A. Times).  Composed for the concert hall, drama, dance and film, his music has been commissioned and performed nationally and internationally by organizations including American Ballet Theatre, American Composers Orchestra, Chamber Music Hawai‘i, Ebb and Flow Arts, ETHEL (string quartet), Haven Trio, Hawaiʻi Youth Opera Chorus, Hawai‘i Youth Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, The Juilliard School, Limón Dance Company (NYC), Lula Washington Dance Theatre, New York New Music Ensemble, New Juilliard Ensemble, New York Percussion Quartet, New York Virtuoso Singers, The Shakespeare Theatre (Washington, D.C.), and St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble.  His compositions have been funded by organizations including the Argosy Foundation, Chamber Music America with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Honolulu Mayorʻs Office on Culture and the Arts, Kosasa Foundation, Library of Congress, Meet the Composer, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. His recordings appear on the Albany and CMH labels.  Recent collaborative projects include Pākaʻa Lanakila! (a Hawaiian-style “Peter and the Wolf”) for Chamber Music Hawai‘iʻs Spring Wind Quintet and Hawaiian-language narrator; and TWINGE, a chamber work for Haven Trio based on Barry Bearak’s New York Times article “The Day the Sea Came”.  Magnussen holds degrees from The Juilliard School, Conservatoire Nationale Supérieure de Musique de Paris and Cornell University.  He was Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton from 2000 to 2007, and is currently Associate Professor of Music at University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu.

D.M.A. Music Composition
The Juilliard School, 1995-1999

M.A. Music Composition 
The Juilliard School, 1993-1995

Diploma in Harmony
Counterpoint and Fugue mention bien à l’unanimité Conservatoire National Superièure de Musique de Paris, 1991-1993

B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Music 
Cornell University, 1987-1990

2017-Present: Associate Professor of Music
University of Hawai’i West O’ahu

2012-2017: Assistant Professor of Music
University of Hawai’i West O’ahu

2010-2011: Adjunct Faculty in Music Theory and Composition
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

2000-2007 Artist-in-Residence • Institute for Advanced Study
Princeton, NJ

1996-1998: Faculty
The Juilliard School (Music and Dance Divisions)

MUS 106 Intro to Music Literature (DH)

MUS 108 Fundamentals of Western Music (DA)

MUS 114 University Chorus (DA)

MUS 121Z Beginning ‘Ukulele (DA)

MUS 208 Intro to Songwriting (DA)

MUS 240 Intro to Music Technology

MUS 280 Basic Theory and Aural Skills

MUS 281 Music Theory I

MUS 282 Music Theory II

MUS 308 Songwriting II (DA)

MUS 314 / CM 314 Music, Sound & Media

MUS 366 Stormy Weather: A Jazz History (WI)

MUS 410S Studio Lab Ensemble

Recent Performances:

HAVEN TRIO performed "TWINGE" for soprano, clarinet and piano

  • Dallas Museum of Art, Nov. 12, 2016
  • University of North Texas, Nov. 13, 2016
  • Southeast Oklahoma State University, Nov. 14-15, 2016

World premiere performances of TWINGE, a 45 min. chamber work based on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barry Bearak’s New York Times Magazine article "The Day The Sea Came" which tells the stories of survivors of the 2004 Indonesian tsunami.  Lindsay Kesselman, soprano; Kimberly Luevano, clarinet; and Midori Koga, piano.

Chamber Music Hawaii's SPRING WIND QUINTET performed  "Pākaʻa Lanakila!" for wind quintet and Hawaiian language narrator

  • Maui Arts and Culture Center, Oct. 22 and 23, 2016
  • Kamehameha Schools, Keaʻau Campus, Nov. 2 and 3, 2016

LIMÒN DANCE COMPANY performed Suite from "PSALM"

Summer African Tour with performances in Madagascar, South Africa, & Mozambique, May1-June 2, 2016

XXVIII Danza Nueva Festival Internacional de Lima (Peru), July 7-9, 2016

Victory Dance Performance Series at The New Victory Theater, New York, NY, July 20-22, 2016

2016: Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards Finalist, Liner Notes Award – Award for best liner notes with B.K. Cabigon (Pākaʻa Lanakila! in English and Hawaiian-language versions)

2015: Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Grant

2014: Honolulu Mayor’s Office on Culture and the Arts Award

2010: Honolulu Mayor’s Office on Culture and the Arts Award

2010: Meet the Composer MetLife Creative Connections Program Award

2010: American Composers Forum ENCORE Program Award

2010: American Music Center Composer Assistance Program

2006: Aaron Copland Fund for Music Recording from American Music Center

2001: Delmas Foundation Grant for "PSALM"

2001: Meet the Composer Commissioning Music/USA for "PSALM"

2000: New Juilliard Ensemble Composers Competition Winner

1998: Martin E. Segal Award, The Juilliard School / Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

1994-1995: Annual Orchestral Score Competition Winner, The Juilliard School Composition Department

1990-1991: Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship, Fondation des États-Unis, Paris, France

“Debussy's Khamma: Explorations of His First Ballet with Comparisons to Jeux” (Advisor: Pia Gilbert)

  • Music Composition (concert, drama, dance, film)
  • Orchestration
  • Songwriting
  • Music Arranging
  • Music Theory
  • Music Technology

Nov. 11, 2016: Music Now Series – University of North Texas, Denton, TX. Presentation of "TWINGE" and other compositions

Oct. 16, 2015 – Library of Congress + UHWO Project “Kumu Waiwai: Teaching from the Source” – UH West Oʻahu Library, Kapolei, HI. Presentation on Teaching the Blues with Primary Sources

Apr. 6, 7, and 13, 2015: Chamber Music Hawai‘i's Galliard String Quartet Concerts – Pre-Performance Introductions

for world premiere performances of "deep sea, distant sky" (String Quartet No. 1)

Jan. 23, 2014 – Generation Next Conference, College Music Society, Los Angeles, CA – “Engaging the 21st Century Student in the Music Fundamentals Curriculum”.

1996-1998: Frank Damrosch Scholarship in Graduate Study, The Juilliard School

1998: Martin E. Segal Award, The Juilliard School / Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

1990-1991: Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship, Fondation des États-Unis, Paris, France, for private study Noël Lee (piano).

1991-1993: Conservatoire National Superièure de Musique de Paris

1990-1991: Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship, Fondation des États-Unis, Paris, France, including private studies Noël Lee (piano), Yvonne Desportes (harmony and counterpoint), and group study with Michel Merlet (composition)