Harvey, Jonathan Dean (b Sutton Coldfield, 1939)
Born in Sutton Coldfield in 1939, Jonathan Harvey won a scholarship from Repton to St. John's College, Cambridge. He studied with Erwin Stein, after whose death he continued composition and analysis with Hans Keller ultimately obtaining a PhD. At Cambridge he was preoccupied with mystical ideas while becoming acquainted with procedures in mediaeval and renaissance music that were later to influence his own compositions. During the 1960s, Jonathan Harvey composed freely, responding to a wide variety of musical and religious experiences in his settings of mediaeval texts. Schoenberg, Berg, Messiaen and Britten were also early influences, and a broader base was achieved through the guidance of Hans Keller.

During a period of postgraduate study at Glasgow University Harvey played as a deputy cellist with the BBC Scottish Orchestra. In 1964 he joined the Music Department of Southampton University. It was at this time that the power of Stockhausen's music first had a profound effect on Harvey, inspiring him to explore and develop his own complex and personal musical language. As a Harkness Fellow at Princeton (1969-70) he came into contact with Milton Babbit. In the early 1980s Jonathan Harvey was invited by Boulez to work at IRCAM, a connection that has resulted in many new commissions in recent years.

Jonathan Harvey has honorary doctorates from the universities of Southampton and Bristol and is a Member of Academia Europaea. He is currently Visiting Professor of Music at the Imperial College, London (a post which was devised in collaboration with Sinfonia 21 with whom he has a long-standing relationship) and is Honorary Professor at Sussex University.