Jonathan Cziner (b. 1991) is an American composer based in New York City. His music combines colorful harmony and texture with nostalgic lyricism, creating a sound-world that ranges from dark and mysterious to vibrant. Drawing on a wide variety of inspirations, Jonathan’s writing engages the senses and the emotions, fully immersing listeners in the musical experience.
A 2018 Charles Ives Scholarship recipient from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Jonathan's works have been performed in the United States and Europe by artists including pianist Steven Masi, Dallas Symphony principal harpist Emily Levin, and by ensembles including the New Juilliard Ensemble, Atlantic Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, and violin duo Les Deux. His orchestral work Resonant Bells was selected by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra for performance at the 2018 Cone Composition Institute with Maestro David Robertson. Other commissions include Once New for the Lyric Chamber Society, Fantasy Chorale for the American Guild of Organists, and Nebulous for the Dallas Harp Quartet, with performances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City.
Cziner’s work Transient Bodies for Sinfonietta, commissioned by the New Juilliard Ensemble, was awarded the 2017 Palmer Dixon Prize, given to the year’s most outstanding composition at the Juilliard School. He has also received recognition from the Minnesota and Sioux City Symphony Orchestras, as well as the BMI Student Composer Award for his orchestral work reAwaken.
Jonathan served for two years as co-artistic director of Dynamic Music Festival, an annual concert series dedicated to premiering works of student composers attending universities in the New York City area. He currently is the associate artistic director of the Charles Ives Concert Series, which focuses its programming on the music of Ives, as well as other past and present American composers. Equally dedicated to scoring for film, he was awarded best original score for up-and-coming director Nora Unkel’s 2015 film The Goblin Song, and is slated to score her first feature film, A Nightmare Wakes in summer 2018.
Jonathan began formal composition training upon his acceptance to New York University, where he received a Bachelor of Music degree studying with Justin Dello Joio. He completed his Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Robert Beaser, and is in the midst of his studies in Juilliard’s prestigious C.V. Starr doctoral program.
Current projects include a solo piano work for Italian pianist Edoardo Turbil as well as a chamber work for the Charles Ives Concert Series.