Jonathan Vinocour
  1. Faculty

Jonathan Vinocour


“The nutty timbre, exquisite poise, and expressive vibrato of Jonathan Vinocour’s viola are among the orchestra’s greatest assets of the moment.” —Financial Times


  • Private Lessons
  • Orchestral Excerpts for Violists


  • MM, New England Conservatory
  • BA, Princeton University


  • San Francisco Symphony, Principal, 2009–Present
  • East Coast Chamber Orchestra, 2003–Present
  • St. Louis Symphony, Principal, 2007–2009

What is your hometown?

Rochester, NY

What is your favorite recording?

Purcell Fantasias by Hespèrion XX

What are you passionate about outside of music?

Getting outside.

Who were your major teachers?

Kim Kashkashian

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

Honestly, no single moment. Just many great experiences at summer music festivals, in particular.

What was a turning point in your career?

Switching from the drums to the viola in fourth grade.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

Surgery, my original childhood dream before taking up the viola.

What is your daily practice routine?

No routine, I just try to play when I can (outside of work)!

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Bach, Brahms, and Ravel.

What are your most important collaborations?

Chamber music with my orchestra colleagues, being a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, and playing as a guest with great string quartets.

What is your unrealized project?

Learning to conduct! And hiking the Appalachian Trail.