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Jonathan Cohler

Clarinet; Chamber Music Faculty

Jonathan Cohler is recognized throughout the world as “an absolute master of the clarinet” (International Clarinet Association’s Clarinet Magazine). Through his performances around the world and on record, he has thrilled an ever widening audience with his incredible musicianship and total technical command. His technical feats have been hailed as “superhuman” and Fanfare Magazine has placed him in the pantheon of legendary musicians: “one thinks of Dinu Lipatti.”

A highly acclaimed recording artist, his recordings have received numerous accolades and awards including nomination for the INDIE Award, the Outstanding Recording mark of the American Record Guide, BBC Music Magazine's Best CDs of The Year selection, and top ratings from many magazines, radio stations, and record guides including Penguin Guide, BBC Music Magazine, and Listener Magazine, which wrote, “Cohler possesses such musical integrity and taste that everything he touches seems like the last word”. Gramophone lauded Cohler’s expression of “the poetry that lesser artists miss.” His recent recording of the Brahms and Beethoven trios with the Claremont Trio (Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio) was ranked the best by Fanfare Magazine, “I know of no finer recording of the Beethoven, and this one stands with the best classic versions of the Brahms.” His Rhapsodie Française was chosen for a 2008 Best of the Year award from the Buffalo/Toronto classical station 94.5 WNED alongside two new CDs featuring legendary artists Pierre Fournier, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Leonid Kogan and Emil Gilels.

He has toured the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Taiwan, China, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mexico and Cuba, and performed at many festivals including those of Tanglewood, Aspen, Domaine Forget, Campos do Jordao, Rockport, Newport, Martha’s Vineyard and the Hamptons. He has been a frequently invited performer at the International Clarinet Association’s annual ClarinetFest and many other clarinet festivals around the world. He has been featured on the prestigious Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago.

In addition to his work as soloist, Cohler is an active chamber musician, chamber music coach, adjudicator, conductor, and pedagogue. He collaborates frequently with many well-known musicians and ensembles including members of the Emerson String Quartet, the Muir String Quartet, the Claremont Trio, the Lark Quartet, the Moscow Conservatory Trio, the Amadeus Trio, the New Jersey Chamber Music Society, the Boston Chamber Music Society, the Wavehill Trio, Boris Berezovsky, Ilya Kaler, Andres Diaz, Charles Neidich, Randall Hodgkinson, Judith Gordon, Andrew Mark, Janice Weber and Rasa Vitkauskaite.

Last season featured the release of two CDs, Rhapsodie Française (Ongaku 024-121), with multiple award winning Lithuanian pianist Rasa Vitkauskaite, and Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio (Ongaku -024-122) with the award winning piano trio Claremont Trio. This season features the release of Romanza (Ongaku 024-123), also with Ms. Vitkauskaite, featuring transcriptions for clarinet and piano of works by Schumann, Prokofiev and Guastavino.

Cohler is also one of the most sought after chamber music coaches in the country. Numerous groups that he has coached have won top prizes in the National Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, and the International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition of the Chamber Music Foundation of New England among others.

He has adjudicated numerous competitions in the United States and abroad including the International Clarinet Competition of the European Clarinet Association, Concours de Musique du Canada, the Young Artist Competition of the International Clarinet Association, the Russian-American Music Association Competition, and numerous others at festivals and conservatories around the world.  Cohler is the Music Director of the Massachusetts Philharmonic Orchestra, and Artistic Director of the International Woodwind Festival. For twenty-two years, he was Assistant Conductor of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of the New England Conservatory. For ten years, he was the Music Director of the Brockton Symphony Orchestra, and he formerly conducted both the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Empire State Youth Symphony Orchestra in Albany, New York. He is also in demand as a guest conductor around the world with orchestras such as the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Caracas, Venezuela.

Cohler is also a world renowned teacher. His students hold positions in major orchestras all around the world, and have won top prizes at numerous international competitions including the Concours de Genève, the Young Artists Competition of the International Clarinet Association, the Audi Mozart Competition (Rovereto, Italy), and Jeunesses Musicales. They have received fellowships to festivals such as Tanglewood, Aspen, Pacific Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, Verbier, Salzburg, and many others.  Cohler is currently on the faculties of the Music Festival of Xativa (Spain), the Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival (Germany), and has been guest faculty at Domaine Forget (Canada), Campos do Jordao (Brazil), and several others. In addition to being on the faculty at two schools, Cohler teaches regularly as guest faculty at conservatories and universities around the world, and holds several honorary positions.

Cohler’s clarinet teachers include legendary Boston Symphony Orchestra clarinetist Pasquale Cardillo, Harold Wright, Karl Leister, Charles Neidich and Frank Martin. He graduated with high honors in physics from Harvard University. He is a member of the clarinet, chamber music and conducting faculties of the Longy School of Music in Cambridge and The Boston Conservatory in Boston.

Cohler is a Vandoren, Rossi, and Gao artist.

clarinets: Rossi • reeds: Vandoren V12 #3 1/2 •mouthpiece: Vandoren B4013 

bell & barrel: Gao Royal Musical Collection

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