Classical saxophonist Jonathan Hulting-Cohen’s performances as soloist and chamber musician have been considered “impressive” with “exceptional facility” (Schenectady Daily Gazette), and “fun to watch” (Oregon Arts Watch). From a musical family in Philadelphia, his early training was as a concert violinist, Irish fiddler, and classical singer. He picked up the saxophone at age 12, continuing his classical training while studying the foundations of jazz. Early performances included a debut at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts at age 17 performing Alexandre Glazounov’s Concerto in E flat. At 21 he performed Luciano Berio’s Chemins IV and Roger Boutry’s Divertimento with the Philadelphia Classical Symphony.
Jonathan’s concerto engagements include standard repertoire and world premieres. With the Adrian Symphony Orchestra (MI) and Sequoia Symphony Orchestra (CA), he performed John Williams’ classical-jazz crossover concerto, Escapades. He has additionally performed concerti by Biedenbender, Lennon, Colgrass, Hartley, and Chatman. In 2017 he premiered Guggenheim-winning composer Felipe Salles’ double concerto, Sagrada Familia, with Dutch saxophone virtuoso, Arno Bornkamp. He made the world premiere recording of Stacy Garrop’s Quicksilver with the UMass Amherst Wind Ensemble in 2018, to be released on MSR Records. He is currently preparing Kenneth Fuchs’ Rush for performance with the Sequoia Symphony Orchestra in 2020.
As a soloist, Jonathan placed in the 2018 Classics Alive Competition, was twice a finalist in the Astral Artists Competition, and was a semi-finalist in the North American Saxophone Alliance Solo Competition. In recitals, he performs traditional and contemporary repertoire. In 2017, he toured Echoes of American Jazz, a program featuring classical works by jazz composers David Liebman, David Amram, Stephen Rush, and Jackson Berkey, which he presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He built upon this repertoire through six commissions that connect classical aesthetics with jazz and folk in his current project, Timbre|ine. Notable among this repertoire are seven-time Downbeat Magazine International Critics’ Poll Alto Saxophonist of the Year, Rudresh Mahanthappa’s jazz-influenced duet, I Choose You, and Eric Wubbels’s Axamer Folio for saxophone and drum set. His current recital season pairs these works with classical music standards by Ibert, Harbison, and Bizet/Sarasate.
Jonathan also enjoys a vibrant chamber music profile. He has performed with David Shifrin at Chamber Music Northwest. At Carnegie Hall’s 21st Century Ensemble he played under John Adams and David Robertson. He is co-founder of The Moanin’ Frogs saxophone sextet, First Prize Laureates of the 2018 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, whose debut self-titled album was released in 2017 on Teal Creek Music. The Admiral Launch Duo, co-founded by Jonathan and harpist Jennifer Ellis, commission and premiere new works for harp and saxophone nationwide. Their album, Launch debuted in 2018 on Albany Records.
Jonathan trained at the University of Michigan under Donald Sinta. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is a dedicated teacher whose current and former students win and place in regional and national solo and chamber music competitions, and who go on to further study and work in the music industry. He is a Conn-Selmer and D’Addario Woodwinds Artist, performing exclusively on their equipment and aiding in research and design.