Jonathan Rutherford: Composer

Composer Jonathan Rutherford

“An exceptionally fine ear

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

Jonathan’s life is devoted to composing. Though he is a well-admired pianist he is first and foremost a composer. He was one of the first fifteen pupils at the Yehudi Menuhin School, and outside the school curriculum he studied composition with Lennox Berkeley. Jonathan has worked with many great teachers such as Nadia Boulanger, Richard Rodney Bennett, and Benjamin Britten.

His piece for Musical Saw, Violin and Soprano “An Intake of Breath” has been loved wherever it has been heard, and the popular “Rejoice! Rejoice!” and “Final Parting” have affected people deeply.

Jonathan’s music is diverse, from pop songs written while still at school between 1967 and 1969, to his atonal writing in the mid 1970s. His discovery of Mahler, and then his visits to Peter Maxwell Davies and Harrison Birtwistle’s courses at Dartington Summer School took his music in new directions. Jonathan’s voice is unique, and isn’t easily pigeon-holed. Perhaps it is best described as expressive and humorous, as he believes all good music should be.

Musicians such as Patricia Routledge, Colin Baker, Johnny Morris, Harriet Longman, Jennifer Thorn, Heidi Pegler, and Susanna Wilson have all performed Jonathan’s music, as well as ensembles such as The Eye Bach Choir, Amici, Stowmarket Chorale, The Prometheus Orchestra, Jubilate and the Orford Choir, and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Apart from the joy of hearing music beautifully played (The CD of An Intake of Breath), it is SO exquisitely, beautifully written.

Jacqueline Cole – Pianist

Contact Katie Beardsworth for enquiries about commissions or performances of existing works.

You can read more about Jonathan here.

Selected Compositions

Final Parting – Jonathan Rutherford

On Remembrance day 1996 The Little Motet Choir and Orchestra, with its conductor John Harmer-Smith, performed this fine performance with Olga Hegedus playing the cello solo and Elizabeth Lane singing the solo contralto voice.

Written in memory of Svetlana Elieva by Julie Rutherford and set to music in the Summer of 1995 by Jonathan Rutherford.

An Intake Of Breath – Jonathan Rutherford

An Intake Of Breath: Introduction – Jonathan Rutherford

This live performance by Harriet Longman (musical saw), Jennifer Thorn (violin) and Heidi Pegler (soprano) was recorded in St. Botolph’s Church, Iken, Suffolk on April 15th 2000. It was engineered by David Hulley and remastered by Simon Weir at the Classical Recording Company.

An Intake Of Breath: Allegro – Jonathan Rutherford

An Intake Of Breath was written in January 1999 in response to a request from Harriet Longman to add a contribution to the limited repertoire for musical saw. At the time Jonathan was writing a setting of Jennifer Thorn’s poem “An Intake of Breath,” so the composer decided to write this new piece for violin and saw and include Jenny’s beautiful and enigmatic poem at the end.

Rejoice! Rejoice! – Jonathan Rutherford

A joyous carol for Christmas written by Jonathan Rutherford sung by London Voices conducted by Ben Parry.

Words and music by Jonathan Rutherford.