Jonathan Sturm


Concertmaster, First Violin

Jonathan first became a professional orchestra musician at age 15, joining the second violins of the Norfolk (VA) Symphony, which has since become the Virginia Symphony. His training came from Oberlin Conservatory, The Eastman School of Music, and Indiana University. Prior to assuming the concertmaster chair in Des Moines, Jonathan served as acting concertmaster and as a member of the first violins in the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. Now in his 27th season with the Des Moines Symphony, he is its longest serving concertmaster, and still loves the passion and precision this kind of work requires, as well as contributing to the great performances audiences in this growing city enjoy.

Dr. Jonathan Sturm brings excellence to the complete spectrum of music: performance as a violin soloist, chamber musician, and concertmaster of the Des Moines Symphony, as a violist in the internationally acclaimed Ames Piano Quartet and as professor of Music History at Iowa State University.

He has recital and concerto appearances across the United States, and in Russia, South Africa, Cuba, and Albania to his credit, maintaining a typical annual schedule of 30-40 concerts. With the Ames Piano Quartet he has been represented by Joanne Rile Artist Management since 1998, has recorded eight internationally released compact discs on the Dorian/Sono Luminus, and Albany labels, has been heard on the St. Paul Sunday, and Performance Today radio programs, and performs annually on national concert series.

At Iowa State University, Dr. Sturm was awarded the 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. As a private violin teacher, his students consistently win competitions, providing them opportunities to perform with orchestras in Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Many of his younger students have graduated to attend major conservatories, including Indiana University, New England Conservatory, The Eastman School of Music and Oberlin. He has been on the summer faculty of Madeline Island and Stringwood music festivals.

When not performing, Dr. Sturm has been in demand as a presenter at national conferences, has published numerous articles and book reviews for encyclopedias and journals, and has a forthcoming chapter in a book on Faust in music to be published by Oxford University Press.

Member of the Orchestra since


Most memorable experience with the Orchestra

I have two. One was performing as soloist playing Piazzolla's Four Seasons, and the second was working with Yo-Yo Ma to perform Dvorak's cello concerto.

How I got started playing my instrument

The Minister of my church was teaching violin lessons to my mother and suggested to her that I begin as well, since I always gravitated toward a musical instrument after school instead of playing sports.

Favorite composer

If stranded on a desert island, I would hope to have my violin and the solo sonatas and partitas by J. S. Bach.

Favorite solo piece

Brahms' Violin Concerto


Occasional golf, scuba diving and furniture refinishing

Other than classical music _____ is on my iPod

Other than classical music, the light jazz of Andre Previn and Diana Krall is on my iPod.

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