Historical Performance Opera
Baroque Ensemble, Director
Introduction to Performance Practice
Performance Practice: Classical Era
DM, Indiana University
MM, Yale University
BFA, State University of New York, Purchase
American Bach Soloists, 1999–Present
San Francisco Symphony
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Los Angeles Opera
[Jamason's playing of Bach displayed] the careful, due balance of objective detachment and lofty passion.”
What is your hometown?
New York, NY
What are you passionate about outside of music?
Travel most of all! Reading fiction is a close second.
Who were your major teachers?
Richard Rephann at the Yale School of Music, Elisabeth Wright at Indiana University, and Anthony Newman at SUNY Purchase.
What was a turning point in your career?
Discovering Bach cantatas and other vocal works on period instruments while an undergraduate piano major. This led to the harpsichord and a life-long adventure and fascination with continuo playing and historically informed performance.
What is your daily practice routine?
Ideally, an hour of warm-up early in the morning, a break, followed by several two-hour sessions separated by lovely walks outside.
If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?
A difficult choice…but likely J.S. Bach, François Couperin, and Mozart.
From a music history perspective, what year and city are most important to you?
Tough one! So many possibilities. Being in Leipzig during Bach’s tenure would have been amazing.
What are your academic publications?
The Performer and the Composer, The Cambridge History of Musical Performance, 2012; and currently working on an article on late 19th century musical theatre performance practice for Oxford Handbooks Online.
What recordings can we hear you on?
Most recently released, the St. John Passion conducted by Nicholas McGegan with Cantata Collective as well as numerous recordings by American Bach Soloists and El Mundo.
What is your unrealized project?
Currently working on several recording projects including The Goldberg Variations.
Corey Jamason is a GRAMMY-nominated harpsichordist whose playing of Bach has been described in the Los Angeles Times as displaying "the careful, due balance of objective detachment and lofty passion." The San Francisco Classical Voice also raved about his performance of the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue as: “simply put, the best performance I’ve ever heard of this piece…his harpsichord touch was phenomenal, and those listeners who believe the instrument incapable of dynamic contrast could have received a sharp corrective from Jamason’s ebbs and tides in this fantasy.”
Jamason appears frequently with American Bach Soloists, with whom he is principal keyboardist and co-director of the ABS Academy held each summer at the Conservatory. He has performed with a variety of ensembles including the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Opera, Cantata Collective, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Musica Angelica, Yale Spectrum, Musica Pacifica, El Mundo, and Camerata Pacifica, for whom he directed a series of concerts for several years in southern California. Festival appearances include the Berkeley, Bloomington, San Luis Obispo Mozart, Music in the Vineyards, Whidbey Island, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg (Germany), Echi lontani (Sardinia) and Norfolk festivals.
Jamason is co-artistic director and conductor of Studio for the Early American Musical, a San Francisco-based ensemble specializing in musical comedy from Broadway and vaudeville from the first decades of the twentieth century. In 2007 he conducted performances of Monteverdi's Orfeo at the Bloomington Early Music Festival in celebration of the 400th year anniversary of its premiere and from 2007 to 2014 was artistic director and conductor of the San Francisco Bach Choir. Recordings include performances with American Bach Soloists, Cantata Collective, violinist Gilles Apap, El Mundo, and recorder player Astrid Andersson. He is a contributing author to the History of Performance, published in 2012 by Cambridge University Press. Born in New York City, Jamason received degrees in music from SUNY-Purchase, Yale University, and the Early Music Institute at Indiana University where he received a D.M. degree. He joined the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory in 2001, where he is professor of harpsichord and chair of the Historical Performance program.