Jonathan began his cello studies with Judith Shiffers, first at the D.C. Youth Orchestra program, and later, as a Levine student during his high school years. He received his B.A. from Bard College, where he studied cello with Luis Garcia Renart. He then attended Northwestern University to earn his M.Mus. in performance, studying with Hans Jørgen Jensen. He has participated in the Cello Teachers Workshop at the String Academy of Wisconsin and the Summer String Teachers Workshop at Ohio State University.

Performance and Teaching Experience

Jonathan is currently a member of the Takoma Ensemble, a 15-piece string orchestra, based in the Takoma Park/Silver Spring area. He has been a freelance cellist in the Greater Washington area since 1996. From 1996-2003, Jonathan was a section, Associate and Acting Principal Cello in the Maryland Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with the Fairfax Symphony, Arlington Symphony, Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban, South Africa, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and given numerous solo and chamber recital appearances both at home and abroad.

Jonathan has maintained a private studio since 1996, and been an instrumental music teacher for Arlington Public Schools since 2004. He has also taught studio cello at the Holton-Arms Center of the Arts and The Potomac School.

At Levine

Jonathan began teaching individual and group classes at Levine in the spring of 2017.

One of his favorite aspects about Levine is, “being at the center of both a major cultural institution in our nation’s capital and the bustling downtown Silver Spring area; I find this environment very stimulating. I look forward to working with Levine students and putting our collective creative energies to work!”

Teaching Philosophy and Approach

My approach to teaching is to offer patient, holistic instruction, with an emphasis on teaching students the skills to unlock their own musical voice, or personality. Adult students should never feel they’re too old to learn to play the cello!


Reading, cooking, hiking, traveling, composing and arranging music