Concert organist Jonathan Dimmock has distinguished himself through his dazzling and highly sensitive performances in churches, major concert halls, music festivals and cathedrals throughout the world. Lauded for his diverse repertoire and his engagement with audiences, his performing is marked by both musical depth and a distinctive personalness, causing audiences immediately to warm to him. Hailed by the Eskilstuna-Kuriren (Sweden) for “power and flaming brio,” cited by the Natal Mercury (South Africa) for “musicianship, taste, and unostentatious virtuosity,” and described by the Adelaide Advertiser (Australia) as playing in such a way that “the organ has rarely sounded more clear and multi-hued than in his very expert and virtuoso hands and feet,” Jonathan is considered by many to be one of the leading musicians in his field.
Inspired, as a young boy, by two significant historical figures, Thomas Edison and J. S. Bach, Jonathan, himself, is noteworthy as both an entrepreneur (like Edison) and a multi-faceted artist (like Bach). Of the many organizations, ensembles, and non-profits he has founded, the award-winning American Bach Soloists stands out among the biggest musical ensembles, followed by AVE (Artists’ Vocal Ensemble), the acclaimed professional vocal ensemble, which he directs, specializing in Renaissance and contemporary polyphony. He plays keyboards with many ensembles, including the San Francisco Symphony, where he has had the privilege of working with some of the world’s greatest conductors. His solo performing career, as well as his work as an accompanist, takes him on foreign and domestic tours.
A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, Yale School of Music and Yale Divinity School, he became the first American ever to hold the prestigious position of Organ Scholar of Westminster Abbey. He then went on to serve three American cathedrals, St. John the Divine in New York City, and St. Mark’s in Minneapolis, and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and over twelve years at the largest Jesuit Church in the United States: St. Ignatius Church in San Francisco. Jonathan now resides in California, serving as Artist-in-Residence at First Presbyterian Church in Oakland, Choir Director and Accompanist at Congregation Sherith Israel, Principal Organist at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Organ Instructor at Sonoma State University, and Organist for the San Francisco Symphony. With the San Francisco Symphony he participated in the Grammy award-winning CD recording of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony (Classical Album of the year for 2009).His teachers and mentors have included Dame Gillian Weir, Peter Hallock, Paul Halley, Simon Preston, Jean Langlais, Harald Vogel, Ton Koopman, William Porter, J. Franklin Clark, Thomas Murray, Paul Halley, and Haskell Thomson.
His interest in French improvisational styles led him to pursue study with Frédéric Blanc, Naji Hakim, and Gerre Hancock. He is a published composer and writer, and his more-than-forty CDs appear on labels including Gothic, Loft, Raven, BCI Records, Time-Warner Recordings, and Koch International. He has been interviewed and featured on National Public Radio, Radio France, BBC3, ABC (Australia), MTV2 (Budapest), BCC (Barbados), and SABC (South Africa).His appreciation of the healing power of music and the arts led him to found The Resonance Project – an organization using music in international conflict resolution.
He is a certified teacher of Meditation in Daily Stress – a technique created by Michel Pascal and the Dalai Lama. His primary focus, with this meditation teaching, is to help those in the gay community who have struggled with issues around rejection and love.
As a writer, he actively maintains a blog on his website and is currently working on a book which includes many interviews with renowned orchestral conductors and composers. With this book, he wishes to examine the inner dimension of music – how it shapes us, changes us. He loves to be engaged in conversation on the topics of Philosophy, Psychology, Spirituality and the Arts.
“The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but rather the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.”