Jonathan Stockhammer has made a name for himself on both sides of the Atlantic in the world of opera, classical symphony and contemporary music. As an excellent communicator, he has a special talent for presenting concerts and creates a working relationship on an equal footing with a wide variety of participants – whether in large opera production teams, with young musicians, young rappers or stars like Bully Herbig and the Pet Shop Boys.
His operatic conducting list, including Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy, Sciarrino’s Luci mie traditrici and Damon Albarn’s Monkey: Journey to the West, shows him as a conductor who embraces and masters complex scores and cross-genre productions as a welcome challenge. He has been a regular guest at the Opéra de Lyon since 1998, where he recently conducted Ravel’s L’heure espagnole. In 2009 he performed two works by Wolfgang Rihm, Proserpina and Deus Passus, with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 2013 he made his New York City Opera debut in Thomas Adès’ Powder Her Face. In 2016 he was a guest for the first time for a new production of Peter Eötvös’ Tri Sestri (Three Sisters) at the Vienna State Opera, to which he returned in spring 2020. In 2019 he made his debut at the Zurich Opera House with the premiere of Michael Pelzel’s Last Call and was a guest again in the 2021/22 season. After the new production of Philip Glass’ Satyagraha, staged by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, at the Komische Oper Berlin and the Theater Basel, he opened the Basel season 2019/2020 with Luigi Nono’s Al gran sole carico d’amore. In the 2022/23 season he will make his debuts at the Opera Vlaanderen (Satyagraha), the Oper Frankfurt (The Cunning Little Vixen) and the Staatsballett Berlin (Onegin).
In the symphonic field, Jonathan Stockhammer has conducted numerous renowned orchestras, including the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Czech Philharmonic. He has been a guest at festivals such as the Salzburg Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Schwetzingen Festival, the Donaueschinger Musiktage, the Venice Biennale, the Wiener Festwochen and Wien Modern.
He has a special fondness for productions that elude the usual categorizations. These include Greggery Peccary & Other Persuasions, an ECHO Klassik-winning CD of works by Frank Zappa with Ensemble Modern (RCA, 2003), as well as concerts and a recording of the new soundtrack to Sergei Eisenstein’s film Battleship Potemkin by and with the Pet Shop Boys. The live recording he conducted The New Crystal Silence with Chick Corea, Gary Burton and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra received a Grammy in 2009. His collaboration with the rapper Saul Williams for Said the Shotgun to the Head, a composition by Thomas Kessler, which Jonathan Stockhammer performed with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, the RSO Stuttgart and the Oslo Philharmonic, was also very successful. In the 2020/2021 season he premiered a new oratorio by Thomas Kessler and performed it at Musikfest Bern, ZeitRäume Basel and Wien Modern. As part of “CONNECT – The Audience as artist” he conducts Night Shift by Cathy Milliken with Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, Asko/Schönberg and the Remix Ensemble Casa da Música. Jonathan Stockhammer first studied Chinese and political science, later composition and conducting in his hometown of Los Angeles. While still a student he filled in for several concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and subsequently assisted the chief conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. After completing his studies, he moved to Germany and developed close artistic relationships with well-known European ensembles such as Ensemble Modern, Collegium Novum Zürich and Ensemble Resonanz.