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Mr Jonathan Darnborough

Member of Common Room

Director of Studies in Music and Departmental Lecturer in Music

Department for Continuing Education

MA Cambridge, LRAM Royal Academy of Music, PGRNCM Royal Northern College of Music

Jonathan Darnborough studied composition with Alexander Goehr and Robin Holloway at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and studied the piano with Phyllis Sellick.  He was a postgraduate student at the Royal Northern College of Music, studying composition with Anthony Gilbert and piano with Derrick Wyndham, and was awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Composition.  He subsequently studied the piano with Roger Woodward and Phyllis Sellick and he now pursues a career as a composer, pianist and lecturer.

Jonathan Darnborough has written orchestral, choral, chamber and solo instrumental works.  He is particularly interested in writing for voices and has written numerous songs and several musicals.  He is currently working on an opera based on Euripides’s Hecuba.  His works have been performed in Britain, Europe and the USA, where the Boston Globe described him as having “a compositional voice that was unmistakably his own – harmonically daring yet shunning obscurity, … both civilised and full of sap.”

As a pianist he has been praised by the Musical Times for his “excellent performances” and “engaging virtuosity”.  He was a prizewinner in the 1992 Franco-Italian Music Competition in Paris and his recital work abroad has taken him to Europe, the USA and Indonesia.  He has wide-ranging recital and concerto repertoires.

Jonathan Darnborough has worked in continuing education throughout his career and currently teaches classes in composition, piano, musical analysis and opera for the OUDCE. One of his main areas of interest is in reaching out to people who love music but feel that they want to understand it better. This has culminated in his course Making Sense of Music which he plans to turn into a book. He is also the author of two online courses: Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, written for AllLearn, a partnership between Oxford, Stanford and Yale universities, and Analysing Classical Music – an Introduction, written for the OUDCE.