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
2022-Present: Professor of Music
University of Hawai’i West O’ahu
2020-2022: Humanities Division Chair,
University of Hawai’i West O’ahu
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
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
MUS 410H University Strings Ensemble (DA)
Label: BLUE GRIFFIN (released September 2020)
Scored for soprano, piano and clarinet, TWINGE was composed for HAVEN (Kimberly Cole Luevano, Lindsay Kesselman and Midori Koga). The text for TWINGE was adapted with permission from Barry Bearak’s New York Times Magazine November 27, 2005 cover story, “The Day the Sea Came”. TWINGE was commissioned through the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program, with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund. The work is dedicated to the memories of the hundreds of thousands of victims of the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Pākaʻa Lanakila! (in English and Hawaiian-language versions)
Label: Chamber Music Hawaii 001 (released Spring 2015)
Narrative work for wind quintet and narrator, music and English-language text by Jon Magnussen, Hawaiian lagnuage text by Braven “Kalama” Cabigon. Featuring Claire Butin (flute), Scott Janusch (oboe), James Moffitt (clarinet), Jonathan Parrish (horn), Marsha Schweitzer (bassoon), Jon Magnussen (narrator, English version), Braven “Kalama” Cabigon (narrator, Hawaiian language version) and Sam ʻOhu Gon III (narrator, Hawaiian language version).
Jon Magnussen: Music for Limón Dances
Label: Albany Records TROY 1021 (released July 2008)
The Winged for chamber orchestra, performed by Members of the Juilliard Orchestra with David Briskin, conductor.
Psalm for chorus, baritone solo and chamber ensemble, performed by Westminster Kantorei, prepared by Andrew Megill; baritone Sumner Thomson; and Members of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra; Mark Laycock, conductor.
SELECTED RECENT PERFORMANCES:
Scoring the Circle: FEU Musicians Past & Present – Fondation des États-Unis, Paris, France – Ten Rooms • for four violoncelli and four triangles
Performed by 'cellists and fellow FEU alumni: Andrew Briggs, Sarah Ghandour, Hilary Metzger, and David Simpson; in the Grand Salon, November 16, 2021.
Ten Rooms was composed in celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Fondation des États-Unis (14 boulevard Jourdan, Paris).
Symphonic Wind Ensemble, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa – No Ka Huliau (Changes) • Mvt. I of the 6-composer collaboration entitled SYMPHONY OF HAWAIIAN BIRDS
Kauaʻi Performing Arts Center, Puhi, HI. March 1, 2020. World premiere performance of a Symphony about Hawaiian forest birds (band version) with original compositions and artwork and animation by local composers and artists, conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Boeckman.
Utah Symphony – No Ka Huliau (Changes) • Mvt. I of the 6-composer collaboration entitled SYMPHONY OF HAWAIIAN BIRDS
Nine concerts (February 11, 12, 24, 25 and 26, 2020) served more than 18,000 fifth grade students and 800 teachers from Utah schools as part of the Utah Symphony’s annual “Fifth Grade Docent Concert” program.
Hawaii Symphony Orchestra – Nā Kau ʻElua | The Two Seasons (oboe concerto, orchestral version)
Blaisdell Concert Hall, Honolulu, HI, Nov. 9 and 10, 2019. World premiere performances of oboe concerto (orchestral version) with J. Scott Janusch, Principal Oboe, Hawaiʻi Symphony, conducted by Keitaro Harada.
Chamber Music Hawaii and Bishop Museum – Pākaʻa Lanakila! for wind quintet and narrator
Bishop Museum, Atherton Hālau, Oct. 22 and 23, 2019
Two public evening and two daytime school performances of Pākaʻa Lanakila! for wind quintet and Hawaiian language narrator. Sue McGinn (flute), Scott Janusch (oboe), James Moffitt (clarinet), Julia Filson (horn), Marsha Schweitzer (bassoon), and Kalama Cabigon (Hawaiian language narrator). Three days, six performances (600 school children and teachers; 150 adults).
Chione Wind Quintet – – Pākaʻa Lanakila! for wind quintet and narrator – Minnesota and Wisconsin
Seven performances with simultaneous sign-language at regional libraries of Northern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin, December 7, 2019 through January 17, 2020
Jasna Popovic, piano – Picture an Illusion for solo piano • Hawaiʻi Public Radio Atherton Studio, November 15, 2019.
Haven Trio; Emory & Henry College, Emory, VA – TWINGE for soprano, clarinet and piano • McGlothlin Center for the Arts, September 10, 2019.
Purchase Orchestra and Chorus with Purchase Dance Company Spring Concert; Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, SUNY – Suite from “Psalm” • PepsiCo Theatre, at The Performing Arts Center, Purchase, NY, May 1-4, 2019, conducted by David Recca. Psalm is a 30-minute ballet choreographed by José Limón, with music by Dr. Jon Magnussen composed for the dance, commissioned by the Limòn Dance Company and premiered in 2002.
Chamber Music Hawaii – Nā Kau ʻElua | The Two Seasons (chamber version)
Paliku Theater (Kaneʻohe), Doris Duke Theater (Honolulu), HI. May 6 and 20, 2019.
World premiere performances of oboe concerto (chamber version) with J. Scott Janusch, oboe; Wu Hung, violin; Helen Liu, violin; Colin Belisle, viola; Sung Chan Chang, cello; Dr. Thomas Yee, piano; Jordan Schifino, perc.
Live Music Awareness – Nā Kau ʻElua | The Two Seasons (chamber version) – World premiere preview performances of oboe concerto. (See above for personnel)
- Historic Haleiwa Gym / Waialua Community Association, Haleiwa, HI. April 26, 2019.
- Waiʻanae Baptist Church, Waiʻanae, HI. April 27, 2019.
Hawaii Symphony Orchestra – No Ka Huliau (Changes) • Mvt. I of the 6-composer collaboration entitled “SYMPHONY OF HAWAIIAN BIRDS”
Blaisdell Concert Hall, Honolulu, HI. Conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Boeckman.
- Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 2018: Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra Educational Concert with videos and animations about Hawaiian birds created by local composers and artists
- Nov. 14, 2018. Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra Family/Community performance of a Symphony about Hawaiian forest birds with original compositions and artwork and animation by local composers and artists.
Hawaii Symphony Orchestra – No Ka Huliau (Changes) • Mvt. I of the 6-composer collaboration “SYMPHONY OF HAWAIIAN BIRDS”
Blaisdell Concert Hall, Honolulu, HI. May 9, 2018. Conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Boeckman.
World premiere performance of a Symphony about Hawaiian forest birds with original compositions and artwork and animation by local composers and artists. Performance by the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra for 2,000 students.
Alvin Ailey School of Dance – BFA Fall Concert • Suite from “The Winged”
Ailey Citigroup Theater, New York City. Nov. 15 and 16, 2017.
Performances of Suite from “The Winged” (The Winged is a 40-minute ballet choreographed by José Limón, with music by Dr. Jon Magnussen composed for the dance, commissioned by The Juilliard School, premiered in 1996.)
E Hīmeni Kākou Collegiate Choral Festival • Ka Wai ‘Apo Lani (arr.) for 8-part chorus
Central Union Church, Honolulu, HI, March 18, 2017
Performance of Ka Wai ‘Apo Lani for 8-part chorus, an arrangement, by Jon Magnussen, of HRM Queen Lili’uokalani's mele, with the combined choirs of UH West Oʻahu, UH Mānoa, Leeward Community College, and Kapiʻolani Community College, directed by Dr. Robert Istad.
HAVEN TRIO • TWINGE for soprano, clarinet and piano
The Library at University of Hawaii – West O’ahu, Jan. 19, 2017; and Atherton Studio, Hawaii Public Radio, Jan. 21, 2017. Haven Trio (Lindsay Kesselman, soprano; Kimberly Luevano, clarinet; and Midori Koga, piano.)
HAVEN TRIO • "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 • "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 • 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
Magnussen, Jon, ed. Pākaʻa Lanakila! Teacher Resource Guide, by co-authors B.K. Cabigon, S. Maile Naki and J. Magnussen. Honolulu, HI: Chamber Music Hawaii, 2016.
Magnussen, Jon, ed. Pākaʻa Lanakila! Palapala Kumu Haʻawina, na B.K. Cabigon, S. Maile Naki a e J. Magnussen. Honolulu, HI: Chamber Music Hawaii, 2016.
Emerson, Jason. “Hawaiian Oboe Legacy Project Creates One-of-a-Kind Instrument and Concerto.” International Musician, vol. 117, no. 11, Nov. 2019, https://internationalmusician.org/hawaiian-oboe-legacy-project-creates-one-of-a-kind-instrument-and-concerto/ .
Moss, Dave. “The Magnussen Oboe Concerto – Ep.3 Tuning up with Iggy & Dave.” YouTube, Hawaiʻi Symphony, with Iggy Jang, J. Scott Janusch, and Jon Magnussen, 29 Sept. 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88IEPKQaz-g.
“Hawai’i Symphony Broadcasts: 2020 Season”
KHPR-FM, Honolulu, HI, August 18, 2020, Nā Kau ʻElua | The Two Seasons (symphonic version).
KHPR-FM, Honolulu, HI, November 7, 2019 (excerpts from Nā Kaul ʻElua | The Two Seasons, chamber version, performed by J. Scott Janusch et al), and a conversation with Gene Schiller and Hawaiʻi Symphony Principal Oboe J. Scott Janusch regarding the upcoming world of premiere of the Jon Magnussen’s new Oboe Concerto, Nā Kaul ʻElua | The Two Seasons, symphonic version.
KHPR-FM, Honolulu, HI, April, 2015 (excerpts from The Winged), and a conversation with Gene Schiller and Galliard String Quartet leader Claire Sakai Hazzard regarding the upcoming world of premiere of deep sea, distant sky (String Quartet No. 1).
2021: Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts: Biennium Grant FY 2022 for "Kani Kūola: Annual UH System Music Festival".
2018 Chamber Music America “Residency Partnership Program
Awarded to Spring Wind Quintet and Chione Quintet to perform Pākaʻa Lanakila! in libraries, museums, music centers, and other venues. Resulting Pākaʻa Lanakila! performances happened in 2019-20, in three different states (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Hawaiʻi).
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)
- Music Arranging
- Music Theory
- Music Technology
SELECTED RECENT PRESENTATIONS
UH System General Education Summer Institute, Honolulu, HI – “Pedagogy of Creativity”
Collaborative presentation to System-wide campus stakeholders about liberal education (broad disciplinary exposure to the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences), with colleagues Nicolas Logue (Theatre, Windward Community College); Dr. Celia Bardwell-Jones (Philosophy, UH Hilo), and Dr. Kristin Kumashiro (Chemistry, UH Mānoa), July 19, 2021 (via Zoom).
Two-day Symposium: “For the Earth it was Just a Twinge”: Collective Storytelling in Journalism, Composition and Music Performance • The Jackman Humanities Institute: Univ. of Toronto, Ontario
NOTE: This two-symposium organized by Dr. Midori Koga, Piano faculty at Univ. of Toronto, is centered on TWINGE, for soprano, clarinet and piano, with text by Barry Bearak (2016).
DAY ONE: (June 26, 2021, via Zoom)
Panel One: (Distanced) Music Collectives: More Than the Sum of Our Parts
Panel Two: Collective Cultural Perspectives: Conversations with Translator Linda Bong
Panelists: Barry Bearak, Pulitzer Prize-Winning New York Times journalist (retired), Linda Bong, translator, Indonesia; Lindsay Kesselman, soprano; Midori Koga, piano, University of Toronto; Kimberly Cole Luevano, clarinetist, University of North Texas; Jon Magnussen, composer, University of Hawaii–West O’ahu
DAY TWO: (June 27, 2021, via Zoom) -- YouTube Premiere TWINGE Concert; Haven Trio with Barry Bearak, narrator
College Orchestra Directors Association International Conference, University of British Columbia; Vancouver, B.C.
“Place-Based Programming for Stronger Community Ties” (refereed talk). Presentation to international orchestra director colleagues on the benefits of programming music of place (by the composers of the place), with audio examples by Hawaiʻi based composers including Byron Yasui, Takuma Itoh, Michael-Thomas Foumai and Jon Magnussen; and an exemplary collaboration including composers Thomas Osborne, Donald Womack, Daniel Houglum. February 8, 2020.
UH West Oʻahu Convocation / Professional Development: Engaged Scholarship Presentation: “Work that Resonates” Kapolei, HI
Presentation to campus faculty, staff and administrators about recent music projects which engage community in raising awareness of cultural and environmental issues through music; January 8, 2020
Artist Residency–Conservatory of Music, Purchase College, State University of New York, Purchase, NY
Week-long residency surrounding the performance of Psalm (2002) in a re-staging of José Limón’s ballet, Psalm, including rehearsals, a Composer Seminar presentation, a pre-concert panel discussion led by Nelly Van-Bommel, director of the Purchase Dance Company, April 30-May 5, 2019.
14th Intʻl Conference on The Arts in Society, Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.
Poster presentation: "The Politics Of New Nature Inspired Music: Hawai’i Based Projects Harness The Power Of Music Towards An Environmentally Conscious World”; June 19-21, 2019.
Heritage Society Symposium, University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, Prince Waikiki Hotel, Honolulu, HI
“How far I’ll go: Translation, Music & Culture in Magnussen’s Pāka‘a Lanakila! & Disney’s Moana”. Joint presentation by Jon Magnussen and Aaron Salā, on the processes of translation from language to language, and from language to music. April 13, 2018.
UH West Oʻahu Distinguished Visiting Scholars: TWINGE (Hawaiʻi Premiere), Kapolei, HI
5-day series of events surrounding the Hawaiʻi premiere of TWINGE by Haven Trio, including class visits by Haven Trio to Beginning Piano, Beginning Voice, and University Band classes; visits by retired NY Times journalist Barry Bearak to ENG 205 Intro to Journalism, GEO 130 Geological Hazards, and PUBA 461 Social Dimensions of Disaster classes; and public concerts by HAVEN Trio at UH West Oʻahu Library and Atherton Studio of Hawai‘i Public Radio, with Post-concert Q&A with the artists and Mr. Bearak. January 17-21, 2017
Music Now Series – University of North Texas, Denton, TX. Presentation of "TWINGE" and other compositions, Nov. 11, 2016.
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, Oct. 16, 2015.
Chamber Music Hawai‘i – Galliard String Quartet Concerts – Pre-Performance Introductions for world premiere performances of "deep sea, distant sky" (String Quartet No. 1), Apr. 6, 7, and 13, 2015.
Generation Next Conference, College Music Society, Los Angeles, CA – “Engaging the 21st Century Student in the Music Fundamentals Curriculum”, Jan. 23, 2014.
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)
CODA: College Orchestra Directors Association
ASCAP: American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
SELECTED SERVICE AND AWARDS:
Faculty Senator – UH West Oʻahu Faculty Senate
Chair, Humanities Division, University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu
Humanities Division 2018 Program Review Committee, University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu
Preparation of 7-year self-study of the Humanities Division and its Concentrations and Certificates through comprehensive analysis of program quality, analyzing a wide variety of data. With committee colleagues Dr. Rebecca Romine and Dr. Natalie Szymanski and, led by Committee Chair Dr. Brenda Machosky, the work was carried out cooperatively with the Office of Institutional Assessment, the Director of Assessment, Evaluation, and Accreditation, and the Chair of the Program Review Committee; and was overseen by Division Chair Amy Nishimura. Upon completion of the final 168-page report (and the 405-page Appendix), the external peer-evaluator Dr. Fay Yokomizo Akindes (Professor of Communication, UW-Parkside, Kenosha, WI) visited our campus for three days, interviewed key stakeholders, and produced a final external report. (May-December 2018)
2018 Board of Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching
Awarded to Jon Magnussen, the medal is given to faculty members who are exceptional in their work. Medal winners demonstrate an extraordinary level of subject mastery and scholarship, are effective teachers, as well as being noteworthy in their creativity and personal values that benefit students.
Faculty Senator, Distance Education Committee, Senator
Keynote Speaker, Punahou School Performing Arts Forum, April 10, 2017 at 7PM
Faculty Senator, Program Review Committee, Senator