Jonathan Manson enjoys a varied career on both cello and viola da gamba, spanning repertoire from the Renaissance to the Romantic.
Born in Edinburgh to a musical family, he received his formative training at the International Cello Centre under the direction of Jane Cowan, later going on to study with Steven Doane and Christel Thielmann at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. A growing fascination for early music led him to The Netherlands, where he studied viola da gamba with Wieland Kuijken at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.
For ten years he was the principal cellist of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, with whom he performed and recorded more than 150 Bach cantatas and, together with Yo-Yo Ma, Vivaldi’s Concerto for two cellos. Jonathan is now principal cellist of the Dunedin Consort, co-principal of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and often performs with Arcangelo, The English Concert and other leading early music groups.
Jonathan is a founding member of the viol consort Phantasm, which has toured worldwide and won three Gramophone Awards, and the cellist of the London Haydn Quartet. A long-standing partnership with the harpsichordist Trevor Pinnock has led to critically acclaimed recordings of the Bach sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord, and, together with Rachel Podger, Rameau’s Pièces de clavecin en concert. In recent years Jonathan and Trevor have joined forces with flautist Emmanuel Pahud and violinists Matthew Truscott and Sophie Gent, leading to two best-selling recordings of Bach and tours of Europe, the USA and East Asia.
Other recent highlights have included recitals with Elizabeth Kenny, Laurence Cummings, Carolyn Sampson and Iestyn Davies, being invited to play the solo viol part in George Benjamin’s opera Written on Skin at the Royal Opera House, and concerto appearances at the Wigmore Hall, the South Bank Centre and New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Equally passionate about teaching, Jonathan has been a professor at the Royal Academy of Music since 2003. He is a regular guest at The Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Welsh College, and has been invited to teach on numerous courses around the world, as well as closer to home, at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
Image credit: Marco Borggreve