About

Short Bio

Jonathan is a composer, arranger, pianist and conductor whose work spans many genres including opera, contemporary classical, jazz, folk and pop. His own music draws on all of these genres, and has been performed by, among others, Britten Sinfonia, Orkest de Ereprijs, the Nieuw Ensemble, Richard Casey, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Animato Kwartet, and Threads Orchestra. He was a prizewinner at the Young Composers Meeting in the Netherlands, and a Fellow at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. He is an inaugural composer on Britten Sinfonia's Magnum Opus Scheme for 2021-22. An experienced collaborative pianist, Jonathan regularly accompanies projects with ENO Engage, and was Children's Assistant Chorus Master for ENO's 2022 production of The Cunning Little Vixen. He currently works with with the Youth Opera Company (YOC) at the Royal Opera House, and has been commissioned to compose the YOC's first large-scale children's opera, The Sapling. He is currently musical director of Lavendern, a new multi-genre opera composed by The Kooks' lead guitarist Hugh Harris.

Photo credit: Benjamin Ealovega

Full Bio

Composer, pianist and conductor Jonathan Brigg was born in Bradford in 1984. As a child he played trombone in Wibsey Brass and Reed Band, and later played the piano for local amateur operatic groups, igniting a passion for music theatre. He read music at the University of Manchester, studying with with Kevin Malone, John Casken and Deniz Ertan, culminating in an MMus in Composition, for which he received a Distinction. He later completed a PhD in Composition at University of York under the supervision of William Brooks. He has been awarded AHRC funding, the Sir Jack Lyons Research Scholarship and an Emmy Watts Bursary.

Jonathan's music has been recognised for its distinctive voice and stylistic range. While he primarily composes for the concert hall, he was also written a children's opera, two albums for jazz ensemble, and countless genre-hopping works in a variety of media. He has been commissioned by the Youth Opera Chorus of the Royal Opera House, the Animato Kwartet and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He was a prizewinner at the Young Composers Meeting (YCM) in the Netherlands, which led to a six-week residency at the MacDowell Colony in the USA. He is an inaugural composer on Britten Sinfonia's Magnum Opus Scheme for 2021-22, which led to the commissioning of a new piano concerto for leading British pianist Huw Watkins.

Whilst primarily a composer, Jonathan is in demand as a collaborative pianist, repetiteur and conductor, regularly accompanying projects by ENO Engage and Streetwise Opera, as well as a number of leisure-time groups. He has worked on operas by renowned British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage. An experienced conductor, Jonathan trained as 'Junior Fellow in Conducting' with Huddersfield Choral Society, and was an assistant director of The 24 at the University of York. He specialises in conducting contemporary choral works, and conducted the choral set-pieces on Stef Conner’s Riddle Songs, which was voted in the Top 100 albums of the year by Presto Classical in 2020.

Jonathan is currently completing a children's opera, The Sapling, for the Youth Opera Company at the Royal Opera House. Alongside a number of solo projects including ongoing work towards a solo piano tour, he is musical director for Lavendern, an immersive multi-genre opera composed by The Kooks' lead guitarist Hugh Harris.