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Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, CBE is the 15th Principal of the Royal Academy of Music in London; he was appointed in 2008. Alongside his commitment to education, he is a writer, recording producer, broadcaster and trumpeter.
Freeman-Attwood was born in Woking on 4 November 1961, the son of Major Harold Warren Freeman-Attwood and Marigold Diana Sneyd Freeman-Attwood (née Philips). He attended Milton Abbey School between 1975 and 1980. He read music at the University of Toronto (BMus) and graduated with First Class Honours before embarking on research at Christ Church, Oxford (MPhil). He served for thirteen years as Vice-Principal and Director of Studies at the Royal Academy of Music under his predecessor Sir Curtis Price after a period as Dean of Undergraduate Studies between 1991 and 1995 when he was responsible for launching the first Bachelor of Music performance degree in the sector, with King's College London, and under the aegis of the Centre of Advanced Performance Studies.
For over a quarter of a century in senior posts at the Academy, Freeman-Attwood has played a leading role in launching pioneering programmes, major international relationships – nurturing a fifteen-year collaboration with the Academy's sister conservatoire in the US, The Juilliard School – as well as several professional development initiatives, including the founding in 1997 of the Academy recording label (now with thirty titles to its name) to introduce talented young artists to the creative challenges of the studio. He has also assembled a roster of eminent international musicians as permanent staff or visiting professors. A close involvement in the artistic strategy of the Academy has led to the inauguration of successful community concert series, namely 'Free on Fridays', 400+ and, with the Kohn Foundation, a ten-year project to perform all of Bach's sacred and secular cantatas. During his Principalship the Academy was granted Degree Awarding Powers from the Privy Council (2012) and has recently embarked on a number of transformational capital projects, including two new practice facilities and, from 2015, a major theatre and recital hall project which was completed in early 2018.
As a trumpet soloist Freeman-Attwood has released nine solo albums, the majority with Linn Records, and has attracted wide critical acclaim for their musical originality and effective 're-imagining' of the trumpet as a chamber instrument in reconstructions of works from c.1600 to the 20th Century. Initially with John Wallace and Colm Carey in 2003 he recorded The Trumpets that Time Forgot (Rheinberger and Elgar) before conceiving a series of programmes with pianist Daniel-Ben Pienaar: La Trompette Retrouvée (2007), Trumpet Masque (2008), Romantic Trumpet Sonatas (2010), A Bach Notebook for Trumpet (2012) and The Neoclassical Trumpet (2014).
The latter includes a reworking of the complete Pulcinella Suite, soon to be published by Boosey and Hawkes. Trumpet Masque won High Fidelity's Recording of the Year in 2009. He also recorded the world première of Gabriel Fauré's Vocalises in 2013, accompanied by pianist-scholar Roy Howat whose edition was published by Peters, and acts as Series Editor for Resonata Music's ‘The Re-Imagined Trumpet’ in which, amongst other pieces from his catalogue, newly configured sonatas by Schumann, Mendelssohn and Fauré have been published. In 2014 he recorded the Godfather Theme for Sony as part of the anniversary celebrations of the classic films.
Jonathan Freeman-Attwood has produced well over 200 commercial discs for many of the world's most prestigious independent labels including Naxos, BIS, Chandos, Hyperion, Harmonia Mundi USA, Channel Classics and AVIE. His productions have won major awards, including several ‘Diapasons d’Ors’, eight Gramophone awards and numerous nominations over the last twenty years with artists such as Rachel Podger, the Cardinall's Musick, Trevor Pinnock, Phantasm, I Fagiolini, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Daniel-Ben Pienaar, and various leading cathedral choirs, including St Paul's Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. He produced Gramophone's ‘Record of the Year’ in 2010 – the final volume of William Byrd's complete Latin Church Music for Hyperion.
As educator and scholar he continues to be active as a lecturer, critic, and contributor to journals (Gramophone since 1992) and books, including The New Grove (2nd edition) and Cambridge University Press's Companion of Recorded Music and to BBC Radio 3. He is an established authority on Bach interpretation, particularly as it challenges and refocuses historical perspectives on performance practices, and writes essays regularly for EMI, Warner, Deutsche Grammophon, Universal, and other major record labels.
He was appointed a Fellow of King's College London in 2009 (where he is a Visiting Professor), a Trustee of the University of London from 2010 to 2015 and a Fellow of the Royal Northern College of Music in 2013. He is also a Trustee and Chair of the Artistic Advisory Committee of Garsington Opera, a Trustee of the Young Classical Artists' Trust (YCAT), the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and the Countess of Munster Trust. He was awarded a CBE on 30 December 2017 for Services to Music.
- His predecessors were William Crotch, Cipriani Potter, Charles Lucas, Sir William Sterndale Bennett, Sir George Macfarren, Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Sir John McEwen, Sir Stanley Marchant, Sir Reginald Thatcher, Sir Thomas Armstrong, Sir Anthony Lewis, Sir David Lumsden, Lynn Harrell, Sir Curtis Price
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