Composer, conductor, and mandolinist Jesse Jones (b. 1978) is an American artist of wide-ranging tastes and influences. His music has been performed extensively across North America, Europe, and Asia, and Mr. Jones has received numerous accolades as both a composer and performer. Most recently, he has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Elliott Carter Rome Prize in Composition from the American Academy in Rome, a Barlow Commission, the Susan and Ford Schumann Fellowship from the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has also been awarded the Peter Tommaney and Mary Greves Fellowships from the Tanglewood Music Center, the Heckscher Prize in Composition from Ithaca College, and the Sage Fellowship from Cornell University. Mr. Jones has participated in the Underwood New Music Readings of the American Composers Orchestra, received fellowships and honors from the University of Oregon, and enjoyed awards from ASCAP. His choral music is published internationally by Earthsongs.
The American Composers Orchestra, the Cornell Symphony and Chamber Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, the Oregon Composers Orchestra, the New Frontiers Chamber Orchestra, the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra and others have presented Mr. Jones’ orchestral works. Others of his compositions have been programmed by the Scharoun Ensemble Berlin, Camerata Notturna, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, the Momenta and iO String Quartets, the New Fromm Players, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, the Israeli Chamber Project, Ossia, So Percussion, FIREWORKS, and the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. Recent commissions include a solo work for guitarist Kenneth Meyer’s upcoming album, a sonata for cellist Jeff Zeigler and pianist David Riley, an octet for the Scharoun Ensemble (Berlin), and a 30-minute work for the Juilliard String Quartet.
As a performer, Mr. Jones was featured, playing his own works, on the nationally broadcast A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor to an estimated live and listening audience of 6 to 10 million. From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Jones toured extensively as a vocalist and mandolinist with the genre-busting ensemble String Helix, composing much of the ensemble’s core repertoire. Mr. Jones has also been featured on the stages of the Oregon Bach Festival, Wintergrass, the Sister’s Folk Festival, and on public television and radio.
Mr. Jones holds a DMA in music composition from Cornell University. While there, he studied composition with Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra, and Kevin Ernste, as well as piano with Xak Bjerken. In 2007, Jones earned his Master’s degree in composition from the University of Oregon, under teachers David Crumb and Robert Kyr, and in 2005 his Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Oregon University, under John McKinnon and Leandro Espinosa. Most recently, Mr. Jones was appointed as Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory at the University of South Carolina.