Jonathan Talbott began to play the violin at the age of 4, made his solo debut at 16, and now performs a repertoire that spans more than 800 years. He has led baroque orchestras on four continents and is known for his performances on renaissance and baroque violins, rebec and medieval fiddle.
As co-director of the violin consort Ensemble Braccio, his research into early violins, their repertoire, and playing styles has led to concerts and recordings which have generated acclaim throughout the world, as well as to a redefinition of the sound of early stringed instruments.
In 2009 Jonathan Talbott was named artistic director of the Dutch Baroque orchestra Concerto Barocco, an ensemble that he had been leading from the concertmaster's chair for some years previously. The orchestra's recording of the Concerti Grossi Op. 3 by Handel, under his direction, has been praised for its "impeccable precision of ensemble...so that the fluency and wit of [the orchestra's] interchanges brings a smile to the listener."
His distinctive playing can be heard on recordings by Concerto Barocco, Ensemble Braccio, The Boston Camerata, and Ensemble Fortuna. Also well known as a teacher, he gives lectures and masterclasses on such diverse topics as medieval improvisation and renaissance polyphony at universities and summer courses in his native United States, as well as in Africa and Europe.
Talbott holds degrees from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, where he studied with Sigiswald Kuijken and Monica Huggett, and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he studied violin with Peter Salaff of the Cleveland String Quartet and early music with lutanist Paul O'Dette. His early training in Portland, Oregon was with Carol Sindell (a pupil of Jascha Heifetz) and Catherine Petersen (who followed the pedagogic approach of Paul Rolland). Further study was with the early violin expert David Douglass and the medieval strings guru Margriet Tindemans.
There has been a long tradition of amateur and semi-professional violin playing on both sides of Talbott's family. The family still owns not only the instruments played by his father and his maternal grandfather, but also the violin brought across America in a covered wagon by his great-great grandfather.
Jonathan Talbott lives in The Hague, Netherlands with his wife, the mezzo-soprano Nancy Mayer, and their two children.
Jonathan Talbott is also the owner TIP, Talbott International Presentations, a presentation agency which helps companies and business people make extraordinary pitches and presentations. You can find his blog, Tip of the Month, here.