Chair of Musical Studies
Conductor / Musical Studies
A native of Princeton, N.J., Jonathan Coopersmith is a highly regarded teacher, conductor, and lecturer on music theory and analysis, music history, and music’s relationship to well-being. He has been a member of the Curtis Institute of Music faculty since 2005 and was appointed chair of musical studies in 2010. He has served as the associate conductor for the Philadelphia Singers for twelve years and the artistic director of Nashirah for seven years, and has been a frequent guest chorus director of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Ballet. He has prepared choral ensembles for performances with Sir Simon Rattle, John Adams, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Christoph Eschenbach, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Mr. Coopersmith has been a regular guest lecturer in the masters of applied positive psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania, researching and speaking about music and well-being. His most recent publication—Musical Flourishes: Lessons from a Conservatory—is part of the Humanities and Human Flourishing Project and was published by Oxford University Press in 2023.
Since 2015, Mr. Coopersmith has been the festival host and a guest conductor at the world-renowned Music From Angel Fire summer music festival. In addition, he is a sought-after lecturer in the Philadelphia area with recent lectures at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Mr. Coopersmith holds a bachelor’s degree in music theory and composition from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with George Crumb, and a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Mannes College of Music, where he studied Schenkerian analysis with Carl Schachter and Edward Aldwell. He has also studied at the Pierre Monteux School for conductors and orchestra musicians.
Jonathan Coopersmith leads musical studies classes with wit, clarity, and enthusiasm—and provocative queries at every turn.