Shapiro, Jonathan

Lubeck, Germany

“The sheer variety of mallets from Mike Balter allow me to always find the best solution for the performance of works with large multi-setups. Also, the durability of the mallets allow me to play works that really give the mallets a beating without having to worry if the mallets will last.”


Dr. Jonathan Shapiro is an advocate for new music and an active performer of solo and chamber works for percussion. Based in northern Germany, he is the percussionist for the Decoder Ensemble, RADAR ensemble, and Ensemble Laboratorium. He appears frequently as a guest performer with such ensembles as Ensemble MusikFabrik, Ensemble Resonanz, Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble Courage, Reflexion K, Signal and Newband. Jonathan has also performed with such groups as the Percussionists of the New York Philharmonic, Argento Chamber Ensemble, Talujon Percussion Quarter, Red Light New Music, Vision Into Art, Percussion Group Lugano, International Ensemble Modern Akademie and in performances of Terry Riley’s classic work In C with the Bang on a Can All-Stars

Jonathan has commissioned and/or premiered over 60 new works for solo percussion or chamber ensemble. He works regularly with up-and-coming composers such as Tristan Perich, Alexander Schubert, Caleb Burhans, Stefan Weisman and Leopold Hurt. Jonathan has also worked directly with such composers as Steve Reich, Tristan Murail, Vinko Globokar, Wolfgang Rihm, Louis Andriessen, Georges Aperghis, Michel van der Aa, Roger Reynolds, Terry Riley, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, Annie Gosfield, Georg Hajdu, and Matthias Spahlinger in developing interpretations of their works.

Jonathan has appeared in performance at such festivals as the Bang on a Can Marathon (NY), Darmstadt Ferienkurse (Germany), Festival Internacional Cervantino (Mexico), Shanghai International Arts Festival (China), 2 Days 2 Night (Ukraine), Salzburg Bienalle (Austria), BEMUS (Serbia), Klangspuren (Austria), Kunstfestspiele Herrenhausen (Germany), June in Buffalo (U.S.), ECLAT Musik der Jahrhunderte (Germany), Serial Underground (NY), Ultrschall (Berlin), Reverb (London) Berkshire Fringe Festival (U.S.),

Blurred Edges (Germany), and the New York Philharmonic Charles Ives Festival (NY).

Jonathan can be heard on recordings from Mode Records, Ahornfelder, NEOS and London Hall Records. His live performances have been broadcast on national TV and radio stations in Germany, Serbia, Ukraine, U.S., Austria and Mexico.

Jonathan holds degrees from the Interlochen Arts Academy (HS), Manhattan School of Music (BM), SUNY Stony Brook (MM, DMA) and the Musikhochschule Lübeck (Advanced Studies). He has taught at SUNY Stony Brook’s Undergraduate Music Program, the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division and the United Nations International School. Jonathan has given lectures on contemporary percussion literature at the Shanghai Conservatory, Poznan Conservatory, SUNY Stony Brook and the Juilliard Summer Percussion Seminar. Jonathan is an endorser for Mike Balter Mallets, Black Swamp Percussion, and Zildjian Cymbals.