Jonathan Cole

(b. 1970, Hertfordshire).

British composer of mostly orchestral and chamber works that have been performed throughout Europe and elsewhere.

Prof. Cole began composing at age five. He studied composition privately with Malcolm Williamson in Hertfordshire in the late 1980s. He then studied composition with Rob Keeley and David Lumsdaine at King's College London from 1990–94, where he earned his BMus. He later studied composition with Simon Bainbridge at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London in 1996–97 and there earned his MMus. He finished his studies in composition with Simon Holt at Royal Holloway, University of London from 1998–2002, where he earned his PhD. He also twice attended the Dartington International Summer School in 1995–96 and attended the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies in 1998.

Among his honours is the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize (1999, for Ouroboros I). He has received commissions from the BBC, the Brighton Festival, the Britten Estate, pianists Rolf Hind and Rob Keeley, the London Contemporary Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, oboist Melinda Maxwell, the organisation Music Past and Present, the Nash Ensemble, NMC Recordings, the Ojai Festival, the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, the Purcell School in Hertfordshire, the Royal Philharmonic Society, and the Soyulla Trio. His music has been performed in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA.

He is also active in other positions. He has served as composer-in-association to the London Contemporary Orchestra since 2009.

He taught composition at King's College London and the Purcell School from 2001–06. He has taught composition as a professor at the Royal College of Music in London since 2006.

His publisher is Ricordi London.





burburbabbar za (music-theatre work), female voice, 2 male voices, violin, viola, cello, 3 percussion, 2008–09


Ouroboros I, small orchestra (15 players), 1998–99

Ouroboros II, small orchestra (15 players), 1999

Penumbra, small orchestra (20 players), 2003, revised 2004

Temporale Distante, large orchestra (90 or more players), 2003

Testament, small orchestra (2 clarinets, 2 B-flat trumpets, 2 percussion, 3 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, double bass), 2005


Quicksilver, 2 clarinets (2nd + bass clarinet), piano, percussion, 1997

Caught, flute, clarinet, viola, cello, piano, vibraphone, 1998

Totem, oboe, 1998–99

Marble Arch 4.30, violin, viola, cello, 2000

Tafos, 2 clarinets, 2 French horns, 2 violins, 2 cellos, double bass, 2001

Suntrap, guitar, 2001

Brood, clarinet, viola, 2002

Sandlining, violin, cello, piano, 2004

Scrawling Out, oboe, violin, viola, cello, 2006

Simulacrum, viola, 2008

ash relics, flute, bass clarinet, guitar, violin, cello, percussion, 2009

giri kür dab, cello, percussion, 2010


Bridal Song, mixed chorus, organ, 2000

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, female chorus, organ, 2005


Sorful Ter (texts from anonymous poetry from the UK in the Middle Ages), soprano, piano, 1997

Assassin Hair (text by Georges Bataille), mezzo-soprano, small orchestra (15 players), 2002

tss'k'haaa, baritone, balloon, 2008


A Group of Memories, 1990–95

Trapdoor, 1999

Go Tango, 2002


Caught. Peter Wiegold/Composers Ensemble (NMC Recordings: D076, 2001)

Testament. Oliver Knussen/London Sinfonietta (London Sinfonietta: SINFCD1-2007, 2007)

tss'k'haaa. Roderick Williams, baritone; Jonathan Cole, balloon (NMC Recordings: D150, 2009)