Jonathan Pasternack conducts symphony orchestras, opera and ballet internationally.
Since 2015, Pasternack has held the position of Artistic Director and Conductor of the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra. His career includes appearances in over a dozen countries, with such ensembles as the London Symphony Orchestra, Residentie Orkest of The Hague, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Romanian National Philharmonic Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, among many others. He has over thirty opera and ballet productions to his credit and has conducted numerous world and regional premieres of new compositions.
His debut recording with the London Symphony Orchestra on the NAXOS label was hailed by music critics, who praised its "wonderfully nuanced, colorful" Suite from the Miraculous Mandarin by Bartók (Michael Ullman, Fanfare magazine) and "risk-taking, profound" Brahms First Symphony (Bernard Sherman, Inside Early Music). Upcoming releases will include the premiere recording of Sarah Bassingthwaighte's Concerto for Double Bass (2022) with the London Symphony, and albums of music by Franz Liszt and Richard Strauss with the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra on ARIA Classics.
Born and raised in New York City, Pasternack began his training on violin, cello, and piano. He won a trombone scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music at the age of sixteen and made his conducting debut at the age of eighteen while an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After a brief apprenticeship, he was invited by James De Preist to become assistant conductor with the Oregon Symphony. Pasternack won Second Prize at the Sixth Cadaqués International Conducting Competition, in Barcelona, Spain, where he was the only American invited to compete, and also received top distinctions at the Aspen, Brevard, and David Oistrakh Music Festivals. His principal mentors were Peter Erős, Neeme Järvi, and Hans Vonk.
Jonathan Pasternack has taught conducting, chamber music and orchestral performance, as a visiting professor at music schools and conservatories in the United States and Europe. A noted scholar of the music of Johannes Brahms, he produced the first complete English translation of "Brahms in der Meininger Tradition," an influential source document relating to the performance practice of the four symphonies and Haydn variations.