Jonathan Pasternack conducts orchestras, opera and ballet internationally, with such ensembles as the London Symphony Orchestra, Residentie Orkest of The Hague, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, among many others. His experience leading works for the theater includes over two dozen opera and ballet productions, including world premiere operas by Wayne Horvitz, Robert Clerc, and Gloria Wilson Swisher. Dr. Pasternack’s recent debut recording on the Naxos label, leading the London Symphony in Béla Bartók's Miraculous Mandarin Suite and the Symphony No. 1 by Johannes Brahms, was hailed by critics as “superbly done” (FANFARE), with “risk-taking, profound” Brahms (National Public Radio), and Bartók sounding “especially delectable in Pasternack’s hands” (The Seattle Times).
Well known for his inspiring and dynamic teaching, Dr. Pasternack frequently leads workshops and clinics for high school orchestras and youth symphonies. From 2010-2013, he served as Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Washington School of Music. As a guest professor, he has taught orchestral performance, conducting and chamber music at Pacific Lutheran University, Central Washington University, East Oregon University, Pacific University, Conservatoire de Maurepas in France, and the Haute Ecole de Musique de Genève in Switzerland. During the 2013-14 season, he will be Visiting Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting at Ithaca College School of Music.
Born and raised in New York City, Jonathan Pasternack studied violin, cello, trombone, piano, and percussion. He won a scholarship at the age of sixteen to the Manhattan School of Music and later transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied astronomy and political philosophy. Dr. Pasternack made his conducting debut when he was eighteen, while a student at MIT, where he founded and led the MIT Chamber Orchestra for three seasons. He earned his MM and DMA degrees from the University of Washington, and also studied at the Mannes College of Music and Accademia Musicale Chigiana. Jonathan Pasternack’s conducting teachers and mentors have included Peter Erös, Neeme Järvi, Jorma Panula, Hans Vonk, and James DePreist. A top prizewinner at the Sixth Cadaqués International Conducting Competition in Barcelona, Spain, where he was the only American invited to compete, Dr. Pasternack has earned distinctions at the Aspen, Brevard, and David Oistrakh Festivals. He has held appointments with the Oregon Symphony, Bellevue Opera, Skagit Opera, Seattle Youth Symphony, Affinity Contemporary Ensemble, and Icicle Creek Music Center.