Meet the Music Director: Jonathan Allentoff
Jonathan Allentoff (M.A.) is a nationally acclaimed conductor, composer, performer, clinician, and educator. In addition to being the founding music director of the Brockport Symphony Orchestra, he holds positions as music director of the GPAS Greece Community Orchestra, founding music director of the Temple Beth El Orchestra, associate conductor, principal viola, and principal arranger for the Brighton Symphony Orchestra, President of the Greece Performing Arts Society, and strings instructor at Hillel Community Day School.
Jonathan holds a Master of Arts degree specializing in Music, Interdisciplinary Arts, Education, and Technology with Honors from Stony Brook University's School of Professional Development. In May 2019, he received the Dr. Deborah C. Hecht Award for his MA Thesis entitled, "The Positive Cultural Impact of Community Orchestras." He also holds a Bachelor of Science, Summa Cum Laude, in Interdisciplinary Arts for Children with a Concentration in Music and an Applied Music Minor from The College at Brockport, State University of New York. A graduate of the college's Delta College Program, he is the recipient of the State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence and was named the Interdisciplinary Arts for Children Departmental Scholar. He has studied violin and viola performance with Dr. Thomas Saul, composition with Dr. William Hullfish, Dr. Daniel Chazanoff, and Van Alexander, theory with Dr. Herbert Wise, music education with Dr. Peter Pece, Dr. Chris Semansky, and Kevin Warner, jazz studies with Dr. Steven Gehring, vocal music with Cantor/Hazzan Martin Leubitz, and orchestral conducting with Dr. William Hullfish, Dr. David Fetler, Dr. David Harman, Dianne Howard, Dr. Charles Gambetta, and Gerard Schwarz, among others.
An active conducting clinician for the New York State School Music Association, Jonathan recently conducted the NYSSMA/NYASTA Directors' Orchestra at the JW Pepper Reading Sessions in Albany. Jonathan performs as principal viola with the Brighton Symphony Orchestra and violin in the Finger Lakes Choral Festival summer performances with the Penfield Symphony Orchestra. He has also appeared as violin/viola soloist with the Amadeus Chorale, Greece Symphony Orchestra, NYSSMA/ACDA Honor Choir, and the Robert Dean Chorale, and he is a member of Brighton Symphony's touring Rococo Project Ensemble. He recently performed as viola soloist in a Jazz Trio with Edgar Gabriel and Tom Culver at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic International Music Conference in Chicago, IL, principal viola in the NYSSMA/NYASTA Directors' Orchestra and ASTA/NAfME National Reading Orchestras, violin soloist at the NAfME National In-Service Conference Jam Session in Nashville, TN, and as a jazz/pop violist in the APME Conference ensembles at the University of Colorado Denver's Recital Hall, Berklee College of Music's Recital Hall, University of Southern California's Carson Center and University of Miami's Clarke Recital Hall.
Jonathan was recently commissioned to create custom arrangements for the Pittsburgh, Knoxville, Muncie, Salina, and Vermont Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Sydney Opera House in Australia. He was also commissioned to compose, arrange, and conduct the music for Temple Beth El's Selichot Service - Music for the Soul featuring Cantor/Hazzan Martin Leubitz and Cantor/Hazzan Randall Levin. His film scores and orchestral works have been featured in ASMAC Hollywood Showcases. Jonathan has been invited to attend private master classes with Jung-Ho Pak, Gerard Schwarz, Van Alexander, Charles Gambetta, Leonard Atherton, Curtis McKonly, and Christian Howes. In addition, he has attended orchestral rehearsals and composition/conducting sessions with Eugene Corporon, Jeffrey Grogan, Soon Hee Newbold, Bob Phillips, Paul Popiel, Matthew McInturf, Larry Livingston, Conrad Pope, Gustavo Dudamel, John Williams, Alan Menken, Tim Davies, Michael Giacchino, Larry Blank, Franz Welser-Most, Joshua Bell, and Bill Holman, among others. He has presented workshops at the Association for Popular Music Education National Conferences at New York University, Berklee College of Music, University of Colorado Denver, and Middle Tennessee State University, and he chaired a panel of ASMAC Hollywood Composers at the CODA National Conference at the University of California, Irvine. He recently served as a clinician for the ASMAC Scholarship Awards, and he has also been invited by Temple Beth El's Men's Club to present a series of lectures and performances.
He has conducted film score research at the Charles E. Young Research Library at the University of California, Los Angeles, Cinematic Arts Library at the University of Southern California, Archives and Rare Books Library at the University of Cincinnati, Bird Library at Syracuse University, and the Warner Bros. Archives, and was invited to attend a private scoring session at Warner Bros. Studios. He frequently writes new scores for silent films and enjoys restoring rare and lost orchestrations from classic Hollywood films. Jonathan participated in ASMAC's 80th Anniversary Celebration hosted at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, and he was personally invited to join a table of Hollywood concertmasters at the 2014 ASMAC Golden Score Awards honoring his colleagues Michael Giacchino and Jorge Calandrelli. He also recently performed as viola soloist in a national studio orchestra session conducted by his ASMAC colleague Richard Frank, and created transcriptions, arrangements, and background music for Eddie Money's musical, Two Tickets to Paradise, produced by the Rochester Association of Performing Arts.
His works have been performed by members of the League of American Orchestras, summer youth orchestras, and college and professional orchestras across the United States, as well as in Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Jonathan distributes his music through his own ASCAP music publishing business, Allentoff Music, www.allentoffmusic.com. His arrangements of American popular standards, holiday songs, and film soundtracks are licensed and copyrighted through Warner Bros. and Alfred Publishing, Chappell & Co., MGM, Hal Leonard, Ludlow Music, Stratford Music Corporation, Universal Music/Criterion Music Corporation, Taradam Music, JW Pepper, and Sheet Music Plus. The 2008 NYSSMA Conference performance of his "Divertimento for Two Violins and String Orchestra" was recorded and distributed by Mark Custom Recording. His recordings and commercial soundtracks are distributed across the globe by Songtradr, CD Baby, Spotify, Amazon, iHeartRadio, Pandora, YouTube Music, and Apple Music. Jonathan is an active member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, College Orchestra Directors Association, American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers, National Association for Music Education, New York State School Music Association, American String Teachers Association, and the Association for Popular Music Education and currently serves on the Executive Board of NYASTA.