JONATHAN SMALL | OBOIST | CONDUCTOR | TEACHER
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JONATHAN SMALL

OBOIST|CONDUCTOR|TEACHER

 
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OBOE

scrupulous musicianship and beauty of tone
— David Fanning, The Guardian

In over 30 years of orchestral playing, dozens of acclaimed commercial recordings, solo appearances, and world premieres, Jonathan Small has established himself as one of the leading British oboists of his generation. 

As principal oboist of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra since 1984, and Senior Tutor of Oboe at the Royal Northern College of Music, Jonathan is a seasoned artist, with an unceasing passion for creating eloquent, refined and dynamic performances.

 
 

CONDUCTING

 
 

Photo: Derek Jones

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Jonathan is now building a parallel career as a conductor, wind coach and soloist-conductor. He has conducted several concerts with the winds of the RLPO, and has conducted several professional orchestras and ensembles in the USA, Sweden and Finland. Recent concerts with his own orchestra, the Wirral Symphony include Mahler’s 2nd and 3rd Symphonies at Chester Cathedral; Duruflé’s Requiem and Haydn’s Creation at Notre Dame du Havre, in Normandy, and symphonies by Bruckner and Martinů.

 

NEWS & EVENTS

Photo: Derek Jones

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MEET JONATHAN

Hear how Jonathan began his musical training in this brief profile video from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

RECORDINGS

 
Jonathan Small’s astonishingly tender oboe solo - music making of the kind to make you want to hug your neighbour for joy.
— David Fanning, The Guardian
 
 
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"The RLPO together with conductor Gerard Schwarz form a perfect alliance with Jonathan Small, whose approach is, for me, uncomplicated and altogether musically authentic. It means that in the slow movement, if he makes the tiniest ritardando, he slows up for just a fraction of a second, it’s to heart-stopping effect. In short, nothing is overdone, while making the most of Strauss’ detailed score.”

- Sarah Devonald, BBC Radio 3 Building a Library, in selecting my recording as the first choice."

"Few recorded interpretations probe so searchingly into its world of pastoral contemplation"

- Michael Jameson, The Gramophone

 
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TEACHING

 
the loveliest solo oboe tone heard for many a season.
— Jan Smaczny, The Independent

Jonathan has mentored dozens of oboe students who now occupy top positions in major orchestras around the world. In addition to serving as Senior Tutor of Oboe at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester since 1991, he has built a lasting connection with the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and makes regular visits to China to give masterclasses and recitals. His teaching emphasizes development of the students’ tone production, solo performance skills, stylistic awareness and working toward perfection of all aspects of technique.  

 
 

PRESS

the loveliest solo oboe tone heard for many a season.
— Jan Smaczny, The Independent
Small’s astonishingly tender oboe solo - music making of the kind to make you want to hug your neighbour for joy.
— David Fanning, The Guardian
 
The most memorable experience was the Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto, played with minimum fuss but maximum poetry and fleet-footed grace by Jonathan Small. His scrupulous musicianship and beauty of tone are a major asset to the RLPO
— David Fanning, The Guardian
Few interpretations probe so searchingly into the concerto’s world of pastoral contemplation...the soloist readily responds to such qualities of sublime benediction and moments of puckish humour
— Michael Jameson, The Gramophone
 
Mozart’s Oboe Quartet...written for Friedrich Ramm, a player of such expertise and musicianship that he has become a legend. On this occasion his part was is the more than capable hands of Jonathan Small…...had Mozart been writing for this extremely talented player, he would have produced exactly the same work. There could be no greater compliment.
— Malcolm Rayment, Glasgow Herald
Jonathan Small brought highest quality of musical learning to his performance of Martinu’s Concerto: he presented throughout the most select properties of tone; in the Moderato he swung with ease and elegance between sustained expressiveness and spirited outbursts. The Andante he gave as a picture of melancholy upon the approach of twilight...a clear blend of sound and style.
— Gerhard Hellwig, Südkurier, Baden-Wurttemburg.
 
Small, whose oboe tone is luxurious, a rich plangent sound leading dignity to any occasion.
— Michael Tumelty, Glasgow Herald
...the astonishing tonal range of Jonathan Small’s oboe…
— David Fallows, The Guardian
 
 
sublime benediction and moments of puckish humour
— Michael Jameson, Gramophone
 

WRITINGS

CONTACT

 
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