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The compositions of Jonathan Romeo spring from his passion to write music that resonates from his own experience, bridges between traditional and more contemporary classical genres, and stirs the hearts of his listeners.

In a style that is rich and multifaceted, Jonathan Romeo's compositions journey through time and genre, intermingling influences of medieval to contemporary classical music with those of dance, popular, rock, and folk music. The soundscapes he creates are both challenging and alluring. At times the music takes the form of lyrical lines and traditional harmonies. At others, it evolves into more contemporary, complex rhythms, bright orchestral colors, and fiery polyphony.

Romeo’s music has been performed by symphony orchestras, ballet companies, chamber groups, and soloists in the U.S. and abroad. Commissions, performances, and readings include those by Richmond Symphony, Richmond Ballet, Florence Dance Company (Italy), Orchestra Leopoldo della Ferrovia dello Stato (Florence, Italy), Shanghai Quartet, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Manassas (VA) Symphony, Plymouth Music Series Orchestra (Minneapolis, MN), Kingsport (TN) Symphony, Lyric Ensemble, Virginia Commonwealth University Symphony, and the VCU New Music Ensemble. Additionally, he worked as orchestrator/arranger for the Miramax film The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain.


Romeo has received recognition and awards from American Composer’s Forum (Orchestral Reading Project), American Music Center (Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance Program), Virginia Commission for the Arts (Touring Grants and Music Composition Artist Fellowship) and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Statewide Artist Workshops). He has served as Artist-in-Residence in the Appalachian and Allegheny Mountain regions through the VCA and the Virginia Community College System. Composer's Fellowships include those from Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Sweet Briar, Virginia and Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois.


During his tenure with The Crooked Road (2008-2020) he promoted the traditional music of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains, including producing concerts, educational programs, workshops, festivals, and tours. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tazewell County Fiddlers’ Convention in 2018.


Romeo studied composition with James Riley at James Madison University, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree, in 1986, and he earned a Master of Music degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1989, where he studied with Allen Blank and served as instructor and director of the New Music Ensemble. Additional composition studies were with John Lambert at the Royal College of Music in London.


Romeo currently lives with his wife and two children in Tazewell County, Virginia.

Jonathan Romeo composing at home.
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