Originally a violinist, Jonathan Zwi discovered a passion for the Classical Guitar during his undergraduate studies at Indiana University. In addition to his degree in music, Jonathan also received degrees in Cognitive Science and Philosophy. He was the recipient of several research fellowships at both Indiana and Yale University and presented his work at research conferences across the United States. During his undergraduate, he won a grant from the NIH to conduct research on the structural connectivity of the macaque cerebral cortex with Dr. Olaf Sporns, with whom he co-authored a paper published in Neuroinformatics.
Following his studies, Jonathan moved to Brazil to focus on the guitar and re-identify with his heritage. He won first place in the inaugural Eustáquio Grilo International Guitar Competition and toured Brazil as part of his award, performing concerts in the cities of Brasilia, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
During his time in Brazil, Jonathan was a student at the School of Music at the Federal University of Bahia. He was also enrolled in the University’s School of Fine Arts, specializing in printmaking, silkscreen, and photography. He has shown his work in exhibits and galleries throughout Salvador, Bahia and has continued to exhibit his work upon returning to the United States.
At the Peabody Conservatory, Jonathan was the Graduate Assistant in Guitar to Manuel Barrueco and in Musicology to Dr. Elizabeth Tolbert. He was a recipient of the Richard Franko Goldman Prize for Performance as well as the Presser Foundation Award. He completed his master’s degree under the guidance of Ray Chester and is currently a doctoral candidate under Manuel Barrueco.
As both a visual artist and musician, Jonathan’s primary interest lies in exploring the dynamics of aesthetic experience and the perceptual mechanisms through which we construct concepts of meaning and beauty in art.
Jonathan’s approach as an educator lies in helping his students develop critical thinking skills that will continually develop the scope and depth of their musical insights and independence. Most importantly, he encourages his students to resist the allure of virtuosity and, instead, aspire to an affinity for sophistication and a sensitivity for beauty with the ultimate objective of achieving their greatest potential artistry.
M.M. in Classical Guitar Performance – Peabody Institute