Conductor, cellist & keyboardist

Jonathan Cohen

Music Director Designate, Les Violons du Roy
Artistic Director, Arcangelo
Associate Conductor, Les Arts Florissants
Artistic Director, Tetbury Festival
Artistic Partner, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Marco Borggreve

Introduction

Jonathan Cohen is one of Britain’s finest young musicians. He has forged a remarkable career as a conductor, cellist and keyboardist. Well known for his passion and commitment to chamber music Jonathan is equally at home in such diverse activities as baroque opera and the classical symphonic repertoire. He is Artistic Director of Arcangelo, Associate Conductor of Les Arts Florissants, Artistic Director of Tetbury Festival and Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Jonny becomes Music Director of Les Violons du Roy from the 2018/19 season and in the interim he is Music Director Designate.
2017/18 sees return visits for Jonathan to Les Violons du Roy, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Glyndebourne Opera for Guilio Cesare. He makes his debut with Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin, Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre Philharmonique de Liege and has appearances with his ensemble Arcangelo, which he founded in 2010 and with whom he has performed at venues such as Wigmore Hall London, Philharmonie Berlin, Kölner Philharmonie, Vienna Musikverein, Salzburg Festival and Carnegie Hall New York. Other recent highlights include a European tour with Vilde Frang with concerts at Oslo Opera House and Tonhalle Zürich. In 2016, Jonathan conducted Arcangelo for their BBC Proms debut at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
Arcangelo are in much demand in the recording studio, partnering fine soloists such as Iestyn Davies (their disc Arias for Guadagni won the Recital Category at the 2012 Gramophone Awards), Anna Prohaska, and Christopher Purves. Together with Scene! with Christiane Karg, Arcangelo’s disc Arias for Benucci with Matthew Rose was nominated for a 2016 International Opera Award and their recording of  CPE Bach Cello Concerti with Nicolas Altstaedt, won the BBC Music Magazine Awards’ Concerto category in 2017.


Performance Schedule

From The Green Room

Online Performances

 

Arcangelo

Arcangelo is one of the world’s leading ensembles bringing together exceptional musicians who excel on both historical and modern instruments, under the direction of founder, artistic director & conductor Jonathan Cohen.

Discography

  • More info  
    Bach Magnificats

    Label: Hyperion

    Release Date: 02 Feb 18

    Magnificat settings by Johann Sebastian, Johann Christian and Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach.
    Arcangelo
    Jonathan Cohenm conductor
    Joelle Harvey; soprano
    Olivia Vermuelen;
    Iestyn Davies; countertenor
    Thomas Walker; tenor
    Thomas Bauer; baritone

     

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    John Blow: An Ode on the death of Mr Henry Purcell

    Label: Hyperion

    Release Date: 29 Sep 17

    Vocal and instrumental English Baroque music
    Samuel Boden; tenor
    Thomas Walker; baritone
    Arcangelo
    Jonathan Cohen; conductor

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    Buxtehude Trio Sonatas

    Label: Alpha

    Release Date: 01 Jul 17

    Arcangelo:
    Sophie Gent; violin
    Jonathan Manson; viola da gamba
    Thomas Dunford; lute
    Jonathan Cohen; director, harpsichord

    Buxtehude: Trio Sonatas Op.1 BuxWV 252-258

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    Couperin, L’Apothéose de Lully, Arcangelo

    Release Date: 28 Apr 17

    François Couperin:
    L’Apothéose de Lulli
    Leçons de Ténèbres
    With Arcangelo, Katherine Watson (soprano) & Anna Dennis (soprano)

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    Bach Cantatas Nos. 54, 82 & 170

    Release Date: 30 Dec 16

    Vergnügte Ruh’, beliebte Seelenlust BWV170
    Widerstehe doch der Sünde BWV54
    Ich habe genug BWV82

    With Iestyn Davies & Arcangelo

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    CPE Bach cello concerti

    Release Date: 02 Sep 16

    Cello Concerto in A minor H432 Wq170
    Cello Concerto in B flat major H436 Wq171
    Cello Concerto in A major H439 Wq172

    With Nicolas Altstaedt & Arcangelo

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    JS BACH

    Release Date: 30 Oct 15

    Violin Concerto in A minor BWV1041
    Violin Concerto in E major BWV1042
    Violin Concerto in A major BWV1055
    Violin Concerto in G minor BWV1056
    Violin Concerto in D minor BWV1052

    Alina Ibragimova (violin),
    Arcangelo,
    Jonathan Cohen (conductor)

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    Arias for Benucci

    Release Date: 29 Oct 15

    Arias written for the buffo bass-baritone Francesco Benucci, Mozart’s first Figaro
    Matthew Rose (bass), Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen (conductor)

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    Mozart: Concertos; Haydn: Sinfonia concertante

    Release Date: 27 Jun 15

    Haydn
    Sinfonia concertante in B flat major Hob I:105

    Mozart
    Oboe Concerto in C major  K314 K271k
    Bassoon Concerto in B flat major K191 K186e

    Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen (conductor), Ilya Gringolts (violin), Nicolas Altstaedt (cello), Alfredo Bernardini (oboe), Peter Whelan (bassoon)

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    Scene!

    Release Date: 15 Jun 15

    Concert arias by Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart and Mendelssohn
    Arcangelo,
    Jonathan Cohen (conductor)
    Christiane Karg (soprano)

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    Mozart

    Release Date: 24 Feb 15

    Mozart Violin Concertos 1 & 5
    Sinfonia Concertante

    Arcangelo,
    Jonathan Cohen (conductor)
    Vilde Frang (violin)
    Maxim Rysanov (viola)

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    BACH

    Release Date: 08 Nov 14

    Mass in B Minor
    Arcangelo,
    Jonathan Cohen (conductor)

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    Monteverdi, Madrigals of Love and Loss

    Release Date: 08 Feb 14

    Arcangelo,
    Jonathan Cohen (conductor)

    Volgendo il ciel – Movete al mio bel suon SV154
    Ciaccona
    Volgendo il ciel – Movete al mio bel suon SV154
    Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda SV153
    Or che ‘l ciel e la terra e ‘l vento tace SV147
    Ohimè, dov’è il mio ben, dov’è il mio core? SV140
    Zefiro torna e ‘l bel tempo rimena SV108
    Ohimè il bel viso, ohimè il soave sguardo SV112
    Sestina ‘Lagrime d’amante al sepolcro dell’amata’ SV111

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    Enchanted Forest

    Label: Deutsche Grammophon 0289 479 0077 1 CD DDD AH ARCHIV Produktion

    Release Date: 15 Mar 13

    Arcangelo,  Jonathan Cohen (Conductor), Anna Prohaska (Soprano)

    Francesco Cavalli
    Georg Friedrich Handel
    Claudio Monteverdi
    Henry Purcell
    Antonio Vivaldi

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    Handel's finest arias for base voice

    Release Date: 30 Jan 13

    With Christopher Purvis and Arcangelo

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    Porpora Cantatas

    Release Date: 30 Jan 13

    With Iestyn Davies and Arcangelo

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    Arias by Mozart, Gluck, Grétry

    Release Date: 30 Jan 13

    With Christiane Karg and Arcangelo

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    Arias for Guadagni

    Release Date: 01 Apr 12

    With Iestyn Davies and Arcangelo

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    MOZART An Italian Journey

    Release Date: 01 Feb 11

    With Jeremy Ovenden and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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    01 Dec 17 John Blow Arcangelo
    Recording

    ‘In Samuel Boden and Thomas Walker, director Jonathan Cohen has harnessed a quintessentially English sound whose lyricism fits the vocal writing like a glove … throughout, the instrumental contribution is a joy; Cohen’s direction a model of stylish empathy and suavely-negotiated gear changes’

    BBC Music Magazine, December 2017

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    15 Apr 17 St Paul Chamber Orchestra

    “…a scaled-down SPCO of 10 string players traced the sparely written textures of Pergolesi’s intimate accompaniment. Cohen probed and guided the musicians from a mellow chamber organ, distilling an atmosphere of mournful contemplation and private grieving.
    Cohen, the most recent addition to the SPCO’s roster of artistic partners, earlier had shown why he is renowned as a specialist in baroque music, in a probing, sensually shaped reading of Locatelli’s Concerto Grosso in E-flat, Op. 7”

    Terry Blain, Star Tribune, 16 April 2017

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    10 Feb 17 Méhul Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
    St John's Smith Square

    “This superb concert with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Jonathan Cohen marked the bicentenary of the death of Étienne Nicolas Méhul, one of the leading French composers in the decades following the revolution, and a figure to whom history has not always been kind… Cohen’s commitment to this music was everywhere apparent, and the OAE were outstanding.”

    Tim Ashley, The Guardian, Monday 13 February 2017 

    “Yet he [Méhul] is still a rare bird in concerts, and the overture to his opera Les Amazones, vigorously propelled by Jonathan Cohen and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, quickly revealed what audiences have been missing. Dramatic thrust. Bold harmonies. … everything was played with the OAE’s trademark vim, and we stepped back into the cold night warmed, fortified and replete.”

    Geoff Brown, The Times, 14 February 2017

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    01 Jan 17 JS Bach Cantatas
    With Argangelo and Iestyn Davies

    “Director/harpsichordist Jonathan Cohen and his elite period ensemble Arcangelo have shaped this engrossing disc, of three Bach cantatas and two instrumental Sinfonias, around the British countertenor Iestyn Davies … Davies’s singular gifts of open-hearted expression, reined in to perfection and with no excess or indulgence, are expertly balanced by Arcangelo’s prominent solo musicians. Early in the year, a favourite disc already.”
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, Sunday 8 January 2017 

    “Jonathan Cohen’s invigorating direction of the top notch Arcangelo and Davies’s extraordinarily questing approach make for a happy balance between abstract delight and rhetorical flair… Davies and Cohen give little quarter to emotional indulgence, as can so
    often be the case. What ensues is a highly refined essay of beautifully articulated singing and playing; the forward-leaning tempo never appears frenetic, with the opening movement as resolute as Bach clearly intends.”
    Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Gramophone, January 2017 

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    02 Sep 16 CPE Bach Cello Concertos
    With Arcangelo and Nicholas Alstaedt

    “Arcangelo under Cohen also breathe the music, capturing the frequent storminess but also bringing substantial dignity, their zing coming from their actual tone and lucid textural balance; listen to the C major luminosity with which they open that previously mentioned A minor Concerto’s slow movement. All in all, a great listen.”
    Charlotte Gardner, Gramophone, August 2016 

    “…the atmospheric effects that the conductor Jonathan Cohen conjures here — muted strings sighing in anguish — are breathtakingly cinematic.”

    Tom Huizenga, The Washington Post, 15 September 2016

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    05 Jul 16 MOZART Le Nozze di Figaro
    Glyndebourne Festival Opera

    “With no weak links in the cast and the effervescent musical direction of Jonathan Cohen, this revival of Michael Grandage’s 2012 production is a delight… Under Jonathan Cohen’s taut yet effervescent musical direction the intricacies of the score make their appreciable marks, too, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment on responsive form.”
    George Hall, The Guardian 4 July 2016 

    “From the opening notes of the overture, Jonathan
    Cohen and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment gave us a crisply vivid account of the score. Cohen used the period instruments to keep the textures light, yet vivid, and to allow the music to move without seeming overly rushed. Individual numbers were shaped finely, but there was an over-arching sense to the performance too, matching Grandage’s desire to have the action move seamlessly through the day.
    Robert Hugill, Opera Today, 4 July 2016 

    “Tying all this together was the immaculate performance
    of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, under the baton of Jonathan Cohen. Particularly for a romantic comedy, Le nozze di Figaro is quite a long opera, and Mozart didn’t have nearly as many resources of varied  instrumentation available to him as later composers. But the OAE produced music with immense variety, rhythms and moods continually changing, but always
    accented to keep your interest and to give a constant sense of forward propulsion.”
    David Karlin, Bachtrack, 4 July 2016 
    “Ashok Gupta and Jonathan Manson provided witty Fortepiano and ‘cello continuo respectively, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment played stylishly for Jonathan Cohen, the wind instruments being especially fine.”
    Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH, 4 July 2016 
    “… the intrigues and sudden compromising revelations are played with such delicious comic timing, swept along by Jonathan Cohen’s brisk but flexible conducting.”
    Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, 5 July 2016 

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    05 Feb 16 Vilde Frang and Arcangelo
    St John's Smith Square

    “The Mozart symphony was as intimate as a chamber piece, the opening Allegro moderato was elegant yet strongly phrased. There was a great contrast of dynamics and attack, something which seemed to fascinate the composer and which Cohen and Arcangelo brought out. Particularly in the development, where there was a great deal going in in the texture the piece, the result was surprisingly dramatic with some elegantly vital playing… Under Cohen’s relaxed, amiable yet acute direction, all performers seemed vividly involved and were clearly enjoying themselves.”
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugil 07 February 2016

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    17 Nov 15 With Anne Sophie von Otter
    Library of Congress

    “Anne Sofie von Otter has reached a career level at which she gets to do whatever the heck she wants… For one thing, she can work with whomever she wants. She is reacting to this by cherry-picking from the world’s store of massively gifted young artists to collaborate with on a variety of projects — including the lutenist Thomas Dunford and the keyboardist Jonathan Cohen, with whom she performed a (mostly) early-music concert at the Library of Congress on Tuesday night.”
    Anne Midgette Classical, The Washington Post, 18 November 2015 

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    15 Oct 15
    Les Violons du Roy

    “What musical intelligence! … Jonathan Cohen, not choosing that path, appears as one of the spokesmen of “Baroque 2.0.” He has understood the benefits of moving on to another stage…. This is the exploration of a wider range of nuances and subtleties in many combinations and colourings.”
    Le Devoir, 17 October 2015 

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    05 Nov 14 Bach Mass in B Minor Recording
    With Arcangelo

    Jonathan Cohen’s rejection of the generic, within a grand and ravishing overview, is what propels an overwhelming sense here that this reading deserves to be taken very seriously. Quite how in performance one ‘reads’ the span of a piece whose spiritual and intellectual symmetries are potentially so forbidding raises many issues but Cohen’s unforced feel for tactus, initially heard in the prima prattica (the more archaic) movements is revelatory in its coherence…the most distinctive attribute here is how Cohen, with his exceptional choral and instrumental forces, resists pursuing a single overall textural ideal and instead seeks an evolving, unrushed relationship between each movement according to the musical stage in the journey…This is a performance where character and rich dimension emerge from within a patient and naturally projected vision of Bach’s most celebrated compendium.
    Gramophone Magazine ‘Editors Choice’ November 2014

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    12 Dec 13 Debut Concerts December 2013
    Scottish Chamber Orchestra

    “Cohen bound the forces together with non-dictatorial precision, coaxing such wonderful moments as the triumphant Gloria – resplendent with its cream topping of three trumpets – or the moving simplicity of the Et Incarnatus est with expressive integrity. This wasn’t a Bach performance characterised by incessant high energy, but one that made everything of the light and shade, the sighing motifs, the virtuosic instrumental solos, and the seamless beauty of a work that, rather extraordinarily, was probably never conceived as an entity.

    The Scotsman 14 December 2013 – Ken Walton 

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    24 Sep 13 Johann Sebastian Bach Recording
    Genuin Select

    3 Sonatas for Viola Da Gamba and Harpsichord
    “An absolute revelation: If Bach’s 6 suites for Solo Cello are your thing, you will certainly enjoy his splendid three sonatas for gamba (or cello) and harpsichord. They are more outgoing and florid, more formal and less personal, although at moments they are deeply moving. When they are played as they are here by Nicholas Altstaedt, one of the cello realm’s most brilliant young princes, and Jonathan Cohen, rising like a shooting star through the period performance sector, we are guaranteed that every bar will have been thought out to within an inch of its life, then let go to explore spontaneously according to the musicians’ larger overarching interpretive principles and schemes. The result of 43 minutes of such cosmically-designed, lapidarian beauty will resonate for a lifetime.”
    Huffington Post 17 September 2013

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    07 Nov 12 MOZART Le nozze di Figaro
    Glyndebourne Touring Opera

    “Under Jonathan Cohen, the Glyndebourne Tour Orchestra sound great — the overture ripped into at a fair lick and not too delicately, an announcement of fun to come.”
    The Evening Standard, 7 November 2012

    “Jonathan Cohen’s conducting of the overture proved at once that he was master of mood and mischief, and his control of the big ensembles yielded thrilling results.”
    Opera Magazine November 2012

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    15 Mar 12 Concert 15 March 2012
    Noord Nederlands Orkest

    “After the interval followed a wonderful performance of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony. The relatively young conductor Jonathan Cohen is an early music specialist. His approach was heard in his clear and direct tonal language. The dynamic nuances and precise playing gave the performance depth and colour. With the same approach in the third symphony, the performance grew into true musical enjoyment.”

    Friesch Dagblad, March 2012