Jonathan Rathbone (England)


Jonathan Rathbone has been a chorister at Coventry Cathedral and later a choral scholar at Christ’s College Cambridge, where he graduated in mathematics. He won a second title at the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied composition with John Gardner. While there, he wrote a children’s musical called “The Selfish Giant” and the music for a production of “dog under the skin” at the Theatre of the crescent moon with conductor Julian Sands. He was hired as a composer for Noel Gay Music.

He has sung with the Choir of  St. Bride’s, Fleet Street and the BBC Singers before joining the Swingle Singers in 1984. He was musical conductor of the group of eight of the twelve years he sang with them, during which time were created most of its provisions, both a cappella and with orchestra. He has worked with many top world musicians as Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio, John Dankworth, Stephan Grappelli,the Beatles producer George Martin and the French pop star Etienne Daho.

He left the group in 1996 to devote more of his time to writing. He orchestrated to Sir Cliff Richard and Michael Ball and more recently for Katherine Jenkins, Lesley Garrett and Wynne Evans (“Go Compare!”). He continues travelling throughout Europe for vocal courses to work with several vocal groups and to award choral competitions. In recent years, he has lectured and run workshops of harmony, improvisation, choral conducting, vocal arrangements and choral techniques.

He is now a composer in the Peters Edition company. He conducts three choirs in North London, for whom he has written numerous books, including “The Night of Wonder”, “Aqueous Swithun Tale” and a festive Christmas cantata entitled “Christmas Party Mr.Fezziwig “. Most recently, he has written “Christmas Truce”, which premiered in Londonby Forest Choir at last Christmas.

Apart from his choral writing, there is also the string quartet of Jonathan, “More fools Wise”, written for the Fitzwilliam Quartet and that has performed all over the world.

During the last three years Jonathan has been at the board of the Committee Europa Cantat Music