JONATHAN HEPFER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
"In the...invigorating seasons that Jonathan Hepfer has headed it, Monday Evening Concerts has become a revelatory experiment in not underestimating his public — a public that, like him, is open to astonishment...Hepfer is quickly building trust: If he’s interested in something, it’s bound to be interesting and the performances can be counted on to thrill...The new generation in the hall let a special experience from a series, begun in 1939 and newly revitalized, sink in. I know nothing like it." - (Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times)
"Monday Evening Concerts, the venerable Los Angeles new-music series, has experienced a spectacular creative surge under the direction of the percussionist and conductor Jonathan Hepfer." – (Alex Ross, The New Yorker)
Jonathan Hepfer (b. 1983) is a percussionist, conductor, and concert curator. He began playing classical music at age 17 after discovering the work of John Cage while studying at SUNY Buffalo. Subsequently, Jonathan attended Oberlin Conservatory, UC – San Diego and the Musikhochschule Freiburg (with the support of a two-year DAAD fellowship), where he studied with Michael Rosen (craft), Steven Schick (interpretation) and Bernhard Wulff (metaphysics), respectively. Other major influences have included Hamza Walker (visual art), Margaret Morgan (critical theory), Jan Williams (aesthetics), Lewis Nielson (ethics), Brian Alegant (analysis), and William O’Brien (philosophy).
Jonathan is the artistic director of Monday Evening Concerts (MEC) in Los Angeles. With MEC, he has directed performances of major works such as Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians and Drumming, Pierre Boulez's sur Incises, Samuel Beckett and Morton Feldman, Words and Music, Philip Glass's Glassworks, Gérard Grisey's Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil, and the West Coast premieres of Julius Eastman's Femenine and The Holy Presence of Joan d'Arc.
Obsessed with the cross-pollination between music, literature and the visual arts, this season brings a collaboration with the poet Anne Carson, as well as performances in partnership with Hauser & Wirth, LAXART and the Getty Museum.
Since 2006, Jonathan has been artistic director of the chamber ensemble ECHOI. He has collaborated as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor with ensembles such as Talea Ensemble, Ensemble Mosaik, Ensemble SurPlus, asamisimasa, hand werk, PALIMPSEST, ICE and Signal. Formerly, he was a member of the Freiburg Percussion Ensemble and red fish blue fish, which toured extensively in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
As a soloist, Jonathan has focused extensively on the works of the composers Pierluigi Billone, Walter Zimmermann, Iannis Xenakis, Brian Ferneyhough, Helmut Lachenmann, Giacinto Scelsi, Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, Georges Aperghis and Vinko Globokar. He has given solo performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Stone in New York, Harvard University, the Tonhalle Düsseldorf (Germany), the Odessa Philharmonic Theater (Ukraine), and the National History Museum in Ulan Bator (Mongolia).
As a writer, Jonathan has produced short texts for Hauser & Wirth, the Getty Museum, Kairos Records and Die Musik von Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf. Additionally, he has recently published interviews with Meredith Monk, Steve Reich and Éliane Radigue in Autre, Kaleidoscope and Purple magazines, respectively.
Jonathan has also had the privilege of documenting the oral histories of the pioneering generation of percussion soloists (Jan Williams, Christoph Caskel, Sylvio Gualda, Jean-Pierre Drouet, Gaston Sylvestre, Maurizio Ben-Omar).
From 2015-2018, he served on the faculty of CalArts, and in 2018 taught a course entitled MUSIC IMAGE TEXT in the graduate art program at ArtCenter Pasadena.