Professional Pianist and Music Teacher
Jonathan Morris is a professional pianist and music teacher based in Colorado. He currently runs a rapidly-growing YouTube channel where he posts performances of his own arrangements of all kinds of music (from Disney to video game/TV music and more) on a weekly basis. Through complex editing and a custom-built LED rig, he adds special effects to his performances to make them more visually engaging. He sells sheet music through his exclusive publisher, Musicnotes.com, and develops music courses for a wide audience to help spread his love of music and the piano. All of his sheet music can be purchased here: https://www.musicnotes.com/sheet-music/artist/jonathan-morris.
Jonathan recently received a doctorate degree in piano performance from the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, graduating with classifications of First Class Honours and Distinction. Jonathan wrote his doctoral dissertation on "Developing a Pedagogical Method of Stylistic Keyboard Improvisation," in which he laid the foundation of a new method book for teaching Classical improvisation to students of all ages and abilities. He plans to develop an improvisation course as part of his new Essential Exercises e-series.
Jonathan has received numerous awards in many local, national, and international competitions. During his doctoral degree at CU, he won first and second prizes in the Honors Concerto Competition and the Bruce Ekstrand Memorial Performance Competition, respectively. In 2017, he also received second prize and alternate winner in the Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition, which took place in the Newman Center for the Performing Arts in Denver. In the 2016 ESB Feis Ceoil—Ireland’s leading national music festival—he won the coveted Mabel Swainson Award, while March 2015 marked a win in both the Hamilton Harty Cup and Anthony Glavin Trophy at the Feis. Both of these competitions had previously been won by Jonathan in 2013. Along with these prizes, he came first in the Morris Grant competition, the most prestigious piano award of the festival. He has also been awarded first prize in the Huban Cup and Patrick Brennan Award and second prize in the Nordell Cup, along with numerous awards in junior Feis competitions, the RIAM music festival, and other Irish music festivals. In the UK, his successes include winning the piano prize of the 2015 Deena Shypitka Music Awards, as well as winning the 2013 Ivan Sutton Chamber Music Award, Guildhall’s pre-eminent chamber music competition, with his piano trio, Trio Amicorum. Jonathan also competed in the 2015 Dublin International Piano Competition, the 8th International Adilia Alieva Piano Competition in France, and the 21st International Piano Competition Rome 2011 in Italy.
In 2018, Jonathan flew to New York to play in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, representing CU Boulder in a showcase of some of its most promising young musicians. He also flew to Ireland to play in the inaugural Samuel Beckett Chamber Music Series, which took place in Dublin’s historic Smock Alley Theatre. Concerts in 2017 included a performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the CU Symphony Orchestra in Macky Auditorium as a result of winning the Honors Concerto Competition. Meanwhile, 2016 included a performance as part of the City of London Festival, a solo concert in Ireland’s National Concert Hall, and a solo concert as part of the New Ross Piano Festival, alongside performers Nicholas Angelich, Piers Lane, and Finghin Collins. During the festival, he also played a four-hand concert with Nathalia Milstein, winner of the 2015 Dublin International Piano Competition. Jonathan has played in many other notable venues, including Wigmore Hall, Abbey Road Studios, the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence Ceremony 2015 (sponsored by Yamaha and organised by Rhinegold Publishing), and the Bishopsgate Institute, as well as several international venues, including the Institut Montana in Switzerland.
As a teacher, Jonathan has been engaged with students of all ages and backgrounds for over seventeen years. During his time at CU, he taught class piano and private piano lessons to CU students. He also taught for the Youth Piano Program, gave presentations on teaching pedagogy, and was an adjudicator for the Boulder Area Music Teachers’ Association. In London, he taught for both the London Music Center and the Fireworks Music School while maintaining a successful private studio. Jonathan was also involved with the award-winning Graduate Teacher Program at CU for three years, completing both the Certificate in College Teaching and the Future Faculty Development programs. During his final year, he was appointed as a Lead Graduate Teacher for the GTP, serving as a consultant on teaching and college pedagogy for the College of Music. He was presented with an Outstanding Lead Award by the GTP in April 2019 in recognition of his work.