Jonathan is Composer-In-Residence with the American Chamber Ensemble and the Blueshift Ensemble and is a founding member of the ICEBERG New Music composers' collective. He has worked with Sō Percussion (through their Summer Institute), Marimolin, the Ludovico Ensemble, Quartetto Apeiron, and members of the JACK Quartet and International Contemporary Ensemble, clarinetist Stanley Drucker (NY Philharmonic), singers Kamala Sankaram and Jennifer Beattie, and pianists Amir Khosrowpour and Marilyn Lehman. Awards include the MA-ASTA Composition Competition, ShoutHouse Call For Scores, and the Boston Conservatory Choral Composers' Competition. He has held residencies at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts and the Hambidge Center, was featured at the inaugural New Music On The Bayou Festival, and will be in residence at Arteles, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, and Arts Letters & Numbers in 2017. His short opera Bark! (with librettist Lane Dombois) was produced by American Opera Projects and NYU. Upcoming projects include a book of piano pieces, an opera about a hermetic young woman, and a piece for New York-based ensemble loadbang. As a guitarist, Jonathan has performed in theater pits and rock clubs throughout New York and New England. He has played with indie bands including Young Yeller and Lucky Sons, and is working on a solo EP. A Long Island native and Brooklyn resident, Jonathan holds a master's in composition from The Boston Conservatory, where he studied with Andy Vores and Curtis Hughes. He also holds a BA from Brown University in music and international relations and an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in musical theater writing. Jonathan has studied composition privately with Dalit Warshaw and has had lessons with Christopher Theofanidis, Dmitri Tymoczko, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Dan Trueman, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Marcela Pavia, Gabriela Lena Frank, Forrest Pierce, and Chester Biscardi. He is an alum of the New Dramatists / Nautilus Music-Theater Composer-Librettist Studio. Jonathan is a devoted student of Tibetan Buddhism and an aspiring wine nerd. http://www.jonathanrussmusic.com

Compositions

Dharmakaya



Dharmakaya is the first movement composed of a planned three-movement piece entitled “Buddha Body.” In Tibetan Buddhism, the dharmakaya is the highest of the three bodily emanations of a Buddha, equivalent to enlightenment itself. The other two - the sambhogakaya, or enjoyment body, and the nirmanakaya, or physical body - will each be the subject of their own movements. In this movement, I explore the nature of enlightenment, inspired by my own meditation practice in the Mahamudra tradition. I draw from '90s indie-rock (particularly shoegaze and dream-pop) textures, recontextualizing them for another time, place, and form. While I have only a beginner’s understanding of the dharma, I believe we all contain Buddhas within ourselves. This piece is my attempt at accessing, and communicating, that best part of our humanity.


Koch-aine



Koch-aine is about the Koch brothers, a pair of billionaire businessmen who contribute large sums of money towards climate change denial (amongst other causes). Their control of the American political system has made it very hard to pass meaningful climate change legislation. The first half of the piece depicts a grotesque cocktail party, as one might find in Washington. The second is a more personal response to the Koch brothers' effect on the world.