Danish/American cellist Jonathan Swensen first asked to play the cello at the age of six, after watching his father Joseph Swensen conduct the Elgar Cello Concerto. After a year of convincing his parents that he would practice the instrument if given lessons, he began his studies. In 2017 he made his concerto debut performing none other than the Elgar, with his father conducting the Porto National Symphony Orchestra in Portugal.
Since this debut as soloist with orchestra, Mr. Swensen has performed Shostakovich No. 1 with the Granada Chamber Orchestra in Spain and the Dvorak Concerto with Florida’s Venice Symphony Orchestra, and has been invited to perform the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations with Denmark’s Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, the Haydn Concerto No. 1 with Poland’s Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra and the Shostakovich Concerto No. 2 with the Copenhagen Philharmonic. He also gives concerts in Copenhagen and other cities in Denmark this season.
Mr. Swensen won First Prize in the 2018 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and these special prizes: The Buffalo Chamber Music Society Prize, Embassy Series Prize (Washington, DC), Friends of Music Concerts Prize (Sleepy Hollow, NY), Sunday Musicale Prize (NJ), Germany’s Usedom Music Festival Prize, and the Alexander Kasza-Kasser Concert Prize of YCA, which sponsors his Kennedy Center debut.
He captured First Prize in the 2018 Khachaturian International Cello Competition, and gave a gala concert performance in Yerevan with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra. He also received First Prizes at the 2016 Danish String Competition and the 2014 Swedish International Music Competition in Stockholm.
Mr. Swensen studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music under Toke Møldruphas, and has been reengaged at festivals in Denmark including the Copenhagen Summer Festival, Schubertiade of the Schubert Society of Denmark, Fejø Kammermusikfestival, Kerteminde Kammermusikfestival, and Hindsgavl Summer Festival.
Jonathan Swensen is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree with Professor Torleif Thedèen at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo.