Jonah Sirota is a violist and composer dedicated to the imaginative performance of viola music, both original and preexisting. His current projects include STRONG SAD, an upcoming album featuring new elegies for the viola by Nico Muhly, Paola Prestini, Arthur Joseph McCaffrey, Valgeir Sigur∂sson, Robert Sirota, and Jonah himself (featuring “When You Lose You Win,” his recorded composition debut); The Flowering Viola: A recital of lush viola chamber music
featuring pianist Molly Morkoski; and Mondegreen, an improvisation duo with organist/composer Kurt Knecht.
Jonah is also known as a viola teacher. He has an ongoing violinist.com blog series on switching from violin to viola. His “practice self-audit” has been used by viola students across the country to empower violists to motivate their own improvement and creativity in the practice room. His Practice Tune-Up for professional and adult amateur violists has given many the chance to reconnect with their own inner passion on the instrument. Mr. Sirota teaches at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Glenn Korff School of Music (where he has helped build a world-class chamber music program), at the Greenwood Music Camp, and in masterclasses and residencies throughout the country.
Jonah has been the violist of the Chiara String Quartet for 17 seasons. He tours internationally with the group and has recorded seven albums and played in numerous major venues worldwide. With the quartet he performs much of the string quartet repertoire from memory (‘By Heart”), including the complete string quartets of Béla Bartók, a recording of which was released in 2016 on Azica Records. The Chiara Quartet has been honored with a Grammy nomination (2011, Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Jefferson Friedman’s 3rd String Quartet on the New Amsterdam label), the ASCAP/CMA Adventurous Programming Award, the Guarneri Quartet Award, top prizes at the Paolo Borciani Competition and the Astral Artistic Services Audition, and a Gold Medal at the Fischoff Competition. Their albums have been featured on N.P.R., and in “Best of the Year” lists from the Boston Globe, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. In the 2015-2016 season, the group was in residence at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and they will return for the following two seasons.