Dr. Jonathan Spatola-Knoll is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Musicology and Conducting at Alma College in Alma, MI, where he acts as music director of the Alma Symphony Orchestra. As a recent awardee of the Vienna Philharmonic’s Ansbacher Fellowship for Young Conductors, Jonathan Spatola-Knoll was in residence at the Salzburg Festival for the summer of 2017. He holds a master’s degree in conducting from the University of California, Davis and prior to completing his doctorate at the same institution in summer 2018, he served on the faculty at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA as director of orchestras.
Spatola-Knoll has conducted such ensembles as the Richmond Symphony, the Pierre Monteux Festival Orchestra, the Whitman College Symphony Orchestra, the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, the UNT Symphony Orchestra, the University of Oregon Symphony Orchestra, the Oregon Camerata, and the Northweset Navy Wind Octet. He has also conducted the UC Davis Chorus, the UC Davis Alumni Chorus, the UC Davis Early Music Ensemble, the Whitman College Chorale and Chamber Singers, the European-American Musical Alliance (EAMA) Festival Chorus, and the Richmond Symphony Chorus. In addition, he has recruited full orchestras, choruses, and other ensembles to perform symphonic and operatic repertoire.
Spatola-Knoll’s principal conducting mentors have included Christian Baldini, Jeffrey Thomas, Jeremy Mims, and Robert Bode. He has also studied under such conductors as Michael Jinbo, Mark Shapiro, David Itkin, Andrea Pestalozza, Matilda Hofman, James Ross, Marin Alsop, David Jacobs, Neil Varon, Stephen Smith, Erin Freeman, and Gerard Schwarz.
Also a musicologist, violist, and collaborative pianist, Spatola-Knoll has served as an accompanist and vocal coach for the Sacramento Opera, the UC Davis Chorus, and St. Martin’s University, where he acted as music director for the opera program. He has held positions as the principal keyboardist and violist for the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra. His research demonstrates how Romantic-era composers thought beyond the boundaries of what is conventionally considered an individual work to create aesthetically and intertextually linked pairs, and argues that these pairs often communicate with one another within larger complexes of related pieces. His writing emphasizes compositions by Weber, Schubert, and Louise Farrenc, and he engages with the music of the Swedish Romantic composer Elfrida Andrée (1841-1929) by producing critical editions and organizing performances. He previously studied at Whitman College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s degree in music (summa cum laude). A native of Olympia, Washington, he is a citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom.