Jonathan’s career as a composer got off to an unpromising start when a competition adjudicator described his Sonata for Two Pianos in the following terms: “A jolly romp for the performers, but what about the listeners?”. Since then (around the time of his twelfth birthday) he has kept the audience firmly in mind while writing music that is accessible to a diverse audience but makes no compromises in artistic or intellectual integrity.

Born in 1984, he spent his childhood in Exeter before reading Natural Sciences at Selwyn College, Cambridge. His university degree was flanked on either side by visits to India, where he taught English and volunteered for a sustainable development organisation, while studying Hindustani Classical Singing.

While at Cambridge he gave regular recitals on the piano, usually in conjunction with talented soloists such as his sister, the soprano Rosemary Galton, and the violinist Alexandra Reid, both of whom he continues to work with in London. His concerts usually have a charitable aim, and his status as a trained speaker for WaterAid is often put to good use on these occasions.

Meanwhile, these performances have also been the main sounding board for his new works, which include Five Bagatelles for violin and piano and The Awakening for two violins and piano. His style draws on a broad palette of influences, but could best be located within the English pastoral tradition (known as the “cowpat style”) albeit with a rich vein of German romanticism.

After seven years working for Climate Consulting, an environmental consultancy based in Croydon, Jonathan has now embarked on a PhD in Anthropology at SOAS, stuying Language and Identity in India. He also enjoys exploring neglected corners of London, which is one of the areas he blogs about at
The Awakening (extract)
Piano: Jonathan Galton

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