MusicWeb International critic Lee Denham has published a must-read interview with composer Jonathan Leshnoff titled “An Interview and Portrait of America’s next great composer”:
Twenty-first century classical composers are a rare breed – and even rarer are those who have enjoyed as much popular acclaim as Jonathan Leshnoff, a comparative youngster, born in 1973, whose works have already been taken up by many orchestras in his native USA with much success – the New York Times called him “a leader in contemporary American lyricism” whose music has been described by the American Record Guide as “lyrical, virtuosic, tender, and passionate all at once”. To coincide the new release on Reference Recordings of his Piano Concerto premiered last year, coupled with his Third Symphony, premiered in 2016, Jonathan Leshnoff spoke to MusicWeb International about the particular challenges of being a classical composer in the twenty-first century.
Our conversations were very much in keeping with modern times – via Zoom, with Jonathan at his home in Baltimore just north of Washington DC in the US, and me at my home in North London in the UK. Similarly, within the text below are links to Record Companies YouTube channels, which I hope will allow you, the reader, to listen, as and when they are mentioned in the narrative, to some of Jonathan Leshnoff’s works which have already been recorded.
I began by asking about Jonathan’s early life. He was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey; his mother was an artist and his father an engineer. What were the events that triggered his interest in serious music and led to him becoming a composer?……