Alabama native Jonathan Magness was appointed the Minnesota Orchestra’s associate principal second violin in 2008 after performing as a regular substitute with the Orchestra’s first violin section for one season. In February 2014 he was named acting principal second violin. He took center stage as soloist in spring 2011, performing Dvořák’s Violin Concerto under the baton of Marin Alsop.
Magness has performed chamber works at several Orchestra concerts, including Greenstein’s Four on the Floor at the 2011 Sommerfest; he reprised that work following Inside the Classics concerts later in 2011. He was featured as soloist at Inside the Classics and Young People’s Concerts in 2010, performing music by Vivaldi and Piazzolla.
Magness has been acquainted with the Twin Cities since his teenage years, when he studied at the University of Minnesota, working with Sally O’Reilly. He has also earned a bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School and a master’s, with high distinction, from the University of Graz in Austria.
Magness has won prizes in numerous competitions. In 2004 he received the grand prize in the International Sparkasse Musikstipendium competition in Austria. In 2005, in the Luis Sigall Violin Competition in Chile, he was awarded the audience prize, prize for best interpretation of a commissioned work and second prize overall; that same year he was a prizewinner in the Manchester International Competition in the United Kingdom, which brought him the opportunity to appear as soloist with the BBC Symphony under Vassily Sinaisky. He has also been soloist with the Israel Chamber Orchestra, Klagenfurt Musikverein, Regional Orchestra of Chile and additional orchestras in the U.S. and Austria, and has performed chamber music and solo recitals across the U.S., South America and Europe. He teaches violin at the University of Minnesota’s Bravo Institute.