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Jonathan Williams

Director of College Music at St Hilda's
Jonathan Williams

Jonathan is a busy conductor, orchestrator, composer and musicologist. As Director of College Music at St Hilda's, Jonathan directs the college choir and orchestra and coordinates the hugely popular Music Society Lunchtime Recital Series held in the Jacqueline du Pré music building.

He is no stranger to musical life in Oxford; his began here in 1989 when, while reading for an MPhil at Keble College, he was principal horn in the University Orchestra and conducted the Choir of the University Church, Schola Cantorum, the Oxford Chamber Orchestra and several productions for the University Opera Club.

In 1992 he started teaching Orchestration at the University and began reading for his doctorate on the operas of Jean-Philippe Rameau (since published by Bärenreiter). He was a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama from 1994 to 2003, at Morley College from 1999 to 2000, and has lectured at the Academy of Contemporary Music, Guildford, since 2005. He studied orchestration in Hollywood and with James MacMillan, and is currently working on a book on Orchestration for OUP.

As a conductor Jonny has enjoyed working in opera (including productions of La bohème, Oedipus Rex, the first staged run on period instruments in Britain of Mozart's Idomeneo and Eugene Onegin for British Youth Opera). He has conducted numerous groups including the BBC Concert Orchestra, English Sinfonia, London Mozart Players, Sinfonia Britannica, Charivari Simfonie, the North Herts Guild of Singers and the University of London Choir and Orchestra, and with such internationally-acclaimed artists as Ian Bostridge, Sally Matthews, Kate Royal, David le Page, Matthew Brook, Adrian Thompson and the OperaBabes. In September 2008 he was appointed Music Director of Ealing Choral Society with whom he has forthcoming concerts at the Cadogan and the Queen Elizabeth Halls. In 2009, Jonathan founded Consort Iridiana, an all-female choir whose members are among the best of former and current singers in Oxford chapel and University choirs.

On a different note, Jonathan composes, orchestrates and conducts music for the moving image. As Orchestral Director of the UK's leading provider of music for video games - Nimrod Productions - he regularly works at the Abbey Road Studios, conducting London's top performers in large-scale choral/orchestral soundtracks for some the world's biggest video games; recent titles include the Driver series, Far Cry 2 and Killzone 3. Last year, Jonny was part of the team awarded the first ever Ivor Novello Award for video game soundtracks for the live orchestral score for Killzone 2. He worked on the original soundtrack for the movie Troy, on commissions for the BBC (the documentary Filthy Cities), the Crucible Theatre and English National Ballet and with Oscar-, Bafta- and Emmy-winning composers Gabriel Yared (Troy), Nicholas Hooper (BBC's Andes to Amazon), Nitin Sawhney (Sony's Heavenly Sword) and Sean Callery (Sky's 24 and Sony's 24: The Game).

Forthcoming projects include conducting the English Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.