Jonathan Bagg is Professor of the Practice at Duke University and violist of the Ciompi String Quartet. His career with the Ciompi includes hundreds of concerts across the U.S. and around the world, as well as many recordings. Currently co-Artistic Director of Electric Earth Concerts in New Hampshire, Bagg teaches viola and chamber music at Duke and is Chair of the Music Department.
Prior to founding Electric Earth Concerts in 2013, Bagg directed the Monadnock Music festival for six years. Bagg has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the NH State Council on the Arts, and many other foundations, in support of his work as an Artistic Director. In this role he has initiated many creative collaborations between authors, poets, and choreographers resulting in dozens of newly commissioned works, including the recent “A Forest Unfolding” which involved 4 writers, 4 composers, and featuring novelist Richard Powers as narrator.
He is currently principal viola of CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, with whom he has performed as soloist. Recitals have brought Bagg to many places the East Coast, including the Phillips Collection in Washington, Boston’s Jordan Hall, New Hampshire's Currier Gallery. Festival appearances include the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, the Eastern Music Festival, the Portland Chamber Music Festival, the Sebago-Long Lake festival, and the Highlands, NC, Mohawk Trail, and Castle Hill festivals.
Bagg’s recent CD on the Albany label, tiled “Elation,” brings together several works he commissioned, including a sonata and trio by Duke colleague Stephen Jaffe and a trio by Scott Lindroth. His other solo CDs (on Centaur) contain music for viola and piano by Robert and Clara Schumann, and by Viennese composer Robert Fuchs (1847-1927). Contemporary solo works by Robert Ward, Arthur Levering, Malcolm Peyton, and Donald Wheelock are on Bridge, Albany, Centaur and Gasparo Records. Collaborations include many notable musicians, including pianists Menahem Pressler and Bella Davidovich, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon, and the Tokyo and Borromeo Quartets, to name only a few.
Before coming to Duke he performed with many of New Enlgand’s leading musical organizations, appearing often with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as associate principal of the Handel and Haydn Society, as principal viola in the New Hampshire Symphony and assistant principal in the New Haven Symphony. He graduated with honors from both Yale University (BA) and the New England Conservatory (MM), where he studied with Steven Ansell and Walter Trampler.