Jonathan Szanto is primarily a performing percussionist and has engaged in a broad selection of musics, including classical symphonic percussion, klezmer bands, microtonal ensembles, percussion groups and recording work. He has performed regularly with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Opera, and California Ballet since 1976, and was a founding member of the San Diego Chamber Orchestra. He has also appeared with the Bend, Mainly Mozart, and Berlin New Music festivals.  In addition to large ensembles, Mr. Szanto has presented a wide variety of recitals – as a solo performer, with chamber groups, with the percussion group The Balboa All-Stars, and one of his favorite things ever, sitting in with Pearl Jam during their Fall 2009 U.S. Tour.


As a composer, Mr. Szanto has produced an array of dance works. In 2001, he was the recipient of a Meet the Composer grant for the dance/theatre work Mavericks with Keith Glassman. Recently scoring the dance Tidal Falls for Teri Shipman and the company Forward to Breath, he has also collaborated with the dance companies of Pat Sandback, San Diego Dance Theatre, Malashock Dance, and Three’s Company. Additionally, he has created broadcast and film library music for Network Music, Inc. and composed commissioned scores for percussion performance. Mr. Szanto is represented by BMI.

A long-time associate of Harry Partch and the Harry Partch Foundation, he recently coordinated the reissue of historic recordings of the music of Partch for CRI, New World Records, and the Innova label (American Composers Forum) “Enclosures” series. Other Partch activities include an ongoing web resource, “Corporeal Meadows”( ; co-producer of the retrospective exhibition “Harry Partch: I Was A Bum Once Myself -- Rare Photographs from the Life of the American Composer” at the OmniCircus (San Francisco), UCLA, and San Jose State; and conducting seminars on Partch’s work with Dr. Bob Gilmore, Dartington College of Arts in Totnes, England.

Mr. Szanto is currently active as a percussionist, producer, composer, and software designer in San Diego, California. He still rides a skateboard.

This biography was most recently edited by...
holdik12 - 3 Jul 2020
camarada - 28 Feb 2012