BMus, MPhil, Hon RAM, FKC, FRNCM
Jonathan Freeman-Attwood is a performer, writer, educator, recording producer and Principal of the Royal Academy of Music in London. He studied at the University of Toronto and Christ Church, Oxford. Soon after, he became Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the Academy, where he led a pioneering new degree course in performance studies under the aegis of King’s College London. He then became Vice-Principal & Director of Studies, a post he held until 2008. In 1997, he was elected an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music and in 2001 received a personal chair in his conferment as a Professor of the University of London.
As a trumpet player, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood has attracted plaudits from the press for his solo recordings, initially with his debut album in 1993 (Albinoni and Contemporaries) and in 1998, Bach Connections – a trumpet and organ recital which threads its way from Bach through to the late 20th century. In 2004, a disc of works by Rheinberger, Strauss and Elgar with John Wallace, entitled The Trumpets that Time Forgot (Linn), heralded a series of recording projects with Daniel-Ben Pienaar exploring ways in which the trumpet can, retrospectively, be ‘written into’ established traditions of mainstream solo and chamber music. Both La Trompette Retrouvée (including a virtuosic arrangement of Fauré’s Sonata, Op.108) and Trumpet Masque in 2007 and 2008 were hailed in the press, the latter receiving High Fidelity’s ‘Recording of the Year 2008’ with Metro describing it as ‘extraordinary playing, switching between fizzy fireworks and tender pathos with ease’. Romantic Trumpet Sonatas by Mendelssohn, Schumann and Grieg, was released in 2011 and has attracted considerable acclaim in the press and on BBC Radio 3, as has his innovative recital of arrangements (by Pienaar) of works by eleven Bachs, A Bach Notebook for Trumpet, released in 2013.
Jonathan Freeman-Attwood’s career also extends to recording producer of around 200 discs for many independent labels, including BIS, Naxos, Chandos, Hyperion, Simax, ASV, AVIE and Channel Classics. Several of his productions have won major awards, including Diapasons d’Ors, eight Gramophone Awards and many Nominations, with the Clerk’s Group, I Fagiolini, Phantasm, Rachel Podger, Trevor Pinnock, L’Arte di Suonatore and The Cardinall’s Musick. He produced a disc of Mozart and Haydn with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Podger using Stradivari instruments, having recorded all Mozart’s violin sonatas with her and Gary Cooper. Other major projects include all Mozart’s piano sonatas with Daniel-Ben Pienaar (soon to be followed by the complete Beethoven sonatas), as well producing Gramophone’s ‘Record of the Year’ in 2010 – the final volume of William Byrd’s complete Latin Church Music performed by The Cardinall’s Musick under Andrew Carwood for Hyperion. He continues in this vein producing the equivalent oeuvre by Thomas Tallis.
He continues to be active as a critic, lecturer and contributor to journals and books, including The New Grove (2nd edition) and Cambridge University Press’s Companion of Recorded Music, and he broadcasts regularly for BBC Radio 3. He is an established authority on Bach interpretation, particularly as it challenges and refocuses historical perspectives on ‘performance practices’ and – in more pedagogical contexts – how recordings of the past can influence current priorities and tastes. He writes essays regularly for EMI, Warner, Deutsche Grammophon, Universal and other major record labels.
In July 2008, Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood became the 14th Principal of the Royal Academy of Music, founded in 1822. He was appointed a fellow of King’s College London in July 2009, and a Trustee of the University of London in 2010. In 2012, he joined the Board of Garsington Opera.
‘A multi-talented trumpeter, academic and Renaissance Man’ — BBC Music Magazine
‘Outstanding playing with a dynamic range of lively dialogue and solo lyricism in virtuoso style’ — The Observer
‘Freeman-Attwood’s playing is notable for the beauty and freedom of line. While the bravura is exhilarating’ — Gramophone
‘Jonathan Freeman-Attwood displays his trademark vibrant sound, overcomes all the technical and musical demands with consummate ease, the upper range always precise and assured, and his stamina is a lesson for all aspiring trumpet soloists’ — Brass Review
‘I find this recording quite thrilling... a treat to be reminded what an excellent trumpeter Freeman-Attwood is’ — Classic FM (David Mellor’s ‘Choice for the Curious’)