He decided to retire in 2007 in order to concentrate on his composition, and for eight years was a part-time research student at the University of Bristol. In August 2010 he was awarded the Raymond Warren Prize for Composition. Having studied under Professor Geoff Poole and Professor John Pickard, he completed his PhD in Composition in January 2015. His portfolio consisted of five original compositions, and a written commentary that examined the role of extra-musical stimuli as catalysts in the creative musical process. In order to consolidate his own compositional language, his research focussed on composition, drawing stimulus from visual artworks, from the writings of their creators, and from naturally-occurring visual structures. He is now a Fellow of Trinity College, London, in Composition, and also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Over the years he has conducted numerous choirs and orchestras in many large-scale events. In September 2013, he was appointed conductor of Portishead Choral Society. In the spring of 2014, he composed a new cantata for the choir to coincide with their Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Awake the Voice, a thirty minute work in six movements for chorus, four soloists, audience and full orchestra was premiered on 13th December, 2014. He is currently working on the third set of four carol orchestrations for choir, audience and orchestra. Other future projects include a song cycle for soprano and piano, and a ‘showpiece’ for flute and piano commissioned by the celebrated flautist Jean-Michel Tanguy.
As well as playing the double bass player in orchestras, he also enjoys playing the cello in chamber music. In his spare time he enjoys maintaining his classic cars, instrument restoration, cooking and travelling.
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The SCA online database currently lists 21 scores by Jonathan Palmer.
|Title||Year||Instrumentation||Mins||Other Information||Audio||View score||Publ.|
|Awake the Voice||2014||for SATB soloists, SATB Choir, Audience and Chamber Orchestra.||21-30||New cantata for Advent, with audience participation in three of the six movements.
|Bombshells||1986||Musical||30+||A two hour stage musical. Winner of the Six Counties Festival in 1988.||listen||N/A||Stageplays.com|
|Cantata Europa||1992||Soprano, Tenor soli, SATB and Full Orchestra||30+||Commissioned by Wincanton Arts Association. The recording is of the final section: 'And let us all in single voice proclaim our peace in harmony', sung in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.||listen||view score||Self|
|Carol Arrangement: I Saw Three Ships||2013||Solo, SATB Chorus , Audience and Orchestra||4||Designed for December concerts, where there is an orchestra available, and an audience wanting to join in.||listen||view score||Self|
|Carol Arrangement: Good King Wenceslas||2013||SATB Choir, Audience and Orchestra||3||As above.||listen||view score||Self|
|Crystal Eyes||2012||Wind Quintet||7-8||A set of 'Miniatures' for wind quintet (with all the doublings).
Movement 1 - Heliotrope
Movement 2 - Bleu Jaune
Movement 3 - Bismuth
Movement 4 - Tiger's Eye
Movement 5 - Celestine
|December Suite||2004||Chamber Orchestra||11-15||Five Christmas 'Funtasias', based on well-known carol tunes.||N/A||N/A||Self|
|Doom Triptych||2012||Trumpet and Organ||11-15||Commissioned by Colin Bloch. First performance on 28th February 2013 at St Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol.||listen||N/A||Self|
|Dove Sta Amore||1982||Oboe and Piano||5-6||The original version for oboe d'amore and piano. "I have played the piece a number of times in recitals and it goes down very well. It is an entirely different genre from the usual d’amore repertoire." (Geoffrey Bridge)||listen||N/A||Self|
|Dove Sta amore||1983||Oboe and strings||5-6||The later version for oboe d'amore and strings.||listen||N/A||Self|
|Happy Returns||2015||Full Orchestra||5-6||Anniversary Concert Overture (for John Rutter and the composer - both 70).||N/A||N/A||Self|
|In Freedom's Name||1984||Tenor, Bass soli, TTBB choir, audience and Full Orchestra.||21-30||A dramatic cantata, celebrating the 300th Anniversary of the Monmouth Rebellion. Text by Robin Bush. Commissioned by Somerset Orchestral Society||N/A||N/A||Self|
|Magnificat||2003||SSAA and organ||4||First performed at Santa Maria della Pieta, Venice on 13th July 2005.||listen||N/A||Recital Music|
|Praise to St Cecilia||1988||SSAA and organ||5-6||Soprano/Alto soli + choir and organ. Ideally to be performed on 22nd November. Recording distorted.||listen||N/A||Self|
|Rejoice for Music||2006||for Massed voices and full orchestra||9-10||First performance in the Colston Hall, Bristol on 9th February 2007.||N/A||N/A||Self|
|'Reminiscences' Concerto for Double bass and Orchestra||2011||Double bass and Chamber Orchestra||21-30||Commissioned by David Heyes. First performance at Holy Trinity Church, Henleaze, Bristol on 26th November 2011, soloist: Davd Heyes with Bristol Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the composer.||N/A||N/A||Self|
|She Walks in Beauty||2001||Soprano, Tenor soli, SATB and Full Orchestra||21-30||Commissioned by 'Clifton High School Old Girls Society' to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Clifton High School and the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
Listen to two movements here:
4. The Merry Wife of Windsor
4. The Merry Wife of Windsor (Full score)
7. Dialogue Finale Vocal Score
|String Quartet No 2||2010||String Quartet||21-30||First performance by the Brodowski Quartet at a lunchtime concert: University of Bristol on 23rd November 2011. The intention was to produce a pointillist musical texture, in self-contained 'blocks', each of which would correspond to one of the coloured squares in the painting. (See Score/painting link).||listen||view score||Self|
|Sweet Somerset||2012||S/A soli, SATB and Small Orchestra||21-30||Cantata commissioned by Bruton Choral Society; settings of poems entitled The Poets' Light' by Ian Kelway.||N/A||N/A||Self|
|The Five Joys of the Virgin Mary||1981||SSAA, 9 part brass and organ||21-30||Revised in 1997.||listen||N/A||Self|
|The Starlight Night||2008||Voice, Clarinet and Percussion||7-8||Text by Gerard Manley Hopkins. First performed by Gemini at a lunchtime concert at the University of Bristol in February 2009.||N/A||view score||Self|
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