Acting Principal Second Violin, Carole and Doug Baker, Sr. Chair
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. From 2014-2016, he served as acting principal second violin. In 2011, he took center stage as soloist with the orchestra, performing Dvořák’s Violin Concerto under the baton of Marin Alsop.
Magness has performed chamber works at several concerts during his tenure with the Orchestra, including Greenstein’s Four on the Floor during the 2011 Summerfest Season, which he reprised during Inside the Classics concerts later in 2011. He has also been featured as soloist during Inside the Classics and Young People’s Concerts in 2010, performing music by Vivaldi and Piazzolla.
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, in addition to the 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. Magness has also been a soloist with the Israel Chamber Orchestra, Klagenfurt Musikverein, Regional Orchestra of Chile and additional orchestras throughout the U.S. and Austria, and has performed chamber music and solo recitals across the U.S., South America and Europe. He currently teaches at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Sewanee, Tennessee, in addition to teaching students within the Twin Cities.
Now living in Eden Prairie with his wife and two children, 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 holds a bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School and a master’s degree with high distinction, from the University of Graz in Austria, studying with Yair Kless.