JONATHAN WILLIAM MOYER
"ever-expressive, stylish, and riveting"
The Baltimore Sun

Oberlin

The Church of the Covenant

BIOGRAPHY
   
Jonathan William Moyer maintains a dynamic career as church musician, concert organist, and pedagogue. The Baltimore Sun has described his playing as "ever-expressive, stylish, and riveting." He is music director and organist of the Church of the Covenant in Cleveland, Ohio and an assistant professor of organ at Oberlin College. He specializes in a vast repertoire from the renaissance to the 21st century, and has performed throughout the United States, and in Europe and Japan. He has performed with numerous ensembles including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, the Oberlin Symphony Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire (Cleveland), Quire Cleveland, Concert Artists of Baltimore, and the Handel Choir of Baltimore.

In 2008, he received the second prize in the Sixth International Musashino Organ Competition in Tokyo, Japan, having also been a finalist in the St. Albans International Organ Competition just four years prior. He has served on the executive committees of the Cleveland and Baltimore chapters of the American Guild of Organists. He has adjudicated for the American Guild of Organists Quimby Young Artist Competition and the National Organ Playing Competition in Fort Wayne, IN.

At the Church of the Covenant, Dr. Moyer oversees a dynamic music program consisting of a mixed professional and amateur choir, children’s, youth and handbell choirs, one of Cleveland’s largest pipe organs (E.M. Skinner/Aeolian Skinner/Holtkamp), the Newberry baroque organ (Richards Fowkes, Op. 19), and a 47-bell Eijsbouts Dutch carillon.

Dr. Moyer holds an Artist Diploma in organ from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music as a student of James David Christie and Olivier Latry. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and Graduate Performance Diploma in organ from the Peabody Conservatory of Music (Baltimore) as a student of Donald Sutherland and Gillian Weir, where he also completed a Master's degree in piano as a student of Ann Schein. While at Peabody he studied harpsichord with Webb Wiggins and served as graduate assistant choral conductor to Edward Polochick. He received a bachelor of music degree in piano from Bob Jones University as a student of Laurence Morton. He had further training with such organists as Susan Landale, Marie-Claire Alain, Guy Bovet, and Michael Radulescu. 

Daniel Hathaway of Cleveland Classical.com wrote of Moyer’s dedication recital of the Newberry organ at the Church of the Covenant, “Moyer skillfully chose registrations that showed the range of color the instrument can produce and suited them perfectly to the music at hand…It's delightful to hear an organ recital where everything seems so right and the playing so much in the service of the instrument and the repertoire.”

In 2008, Moyer performed the complete organ works of Olivier Messiaen in four recitals at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore, MD, celebrating the centenary of the composer's birth and the renovation of the cathedral's organ. The Baltimore Sun, said of his second recital, "Moyer revealed the composer's musical genius as vividly as his spiritual richness, taking full advantage of the cathedral's Schantz organ. …Passages of rapt reflection were shaped with a keen sense of import."

Dr. Moyer resides in Shaker Heights, Ohio, along with his wife, organist, Dr. Kaori Hongo, and sons, Christopher Sho and Samuel Kazu.
    

Concert Calendar

2018

2017

2016

2015

RECORDINGS
Teaching Philosophy
My aim as a teacher is to equip students with the skills necessary to make thoughtful musical decisions that respect the intentions of the composer, connect meaningfully with an audience, draw on the abundant resources of our tradition, and cultivate their unique personalities.



Technique   

Building a solid technique is key to obtaining interpretive freedom. Technical control is balanced by an awareness of muscular tension throughout the body, cultivating economy of energy and efficiency in motion. Technical mastery enables one to utilize fingering and pedaling systems according to all historic periods and geographic traditions. Study of other keyboard instruments such as the harpsichord, clavichord, forte-piano and modern piano provides important cross-relations on technique and stylistic expression. Technical studies at the piano foster strength, endurance, and finger independence.    

History
Knowledge of the past informs our decisions today. Understanding the historical and sociological context of a composition is an essential part of a musician's ability to communicate with both authenticity and sincerity. A thorough understanding of the organ's rich and diverse tradition enables one to play with stylistic integrity and tonal variety appropriate to the musical score.

Musicality
Musical personality can fully emerge when technical mastery and historical knowledge are balanced with humility, reverence, and curiosity, enabling emotional connection and spiritual transcendence. 
COMPOSITIONS

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I've heard an organ talk sometimes
In a cathedral aisle
And understood no word it said
Yet held my breath the while...
And risen up and gone away,
A more Bernardine girl
And know not what was done to me
In that old hallowed aisle.


Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)