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Jonathan E. BaggJonathan E. Bagg

Title: Professor of the Practice
Office Location: 083 Mary Duke Biddle, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: (919) 660-3331
Email Address:
Web Page:
Office Hours:

Afternoons by appointment.


  • M.Mus. New England Conservatory of Music, 1984
  • B.A. Yale University, 1982

Research Interests

Jonathan Bagg is Professor of the Practice, a member of the Ciompi String Quartet, and Artistic Director of Electric Earth Concerts, a classical series he recently founded in New Hampshire. His career with the Ciompi includes hundreds of concerts across the U.S. and abroad, in Europe, China, Israel, and South America, as well as over a dozen recordings. Musicians he has performed with include pianists Bella Davidovich, Menahem Pressler and James Tocco, cellist Ronald Leonard, The Tokyo Quartet, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon. His work outside the Ciompi Quartet as a solo violist and chamber musician is distinguished by his interest in bringing new and unfamiliar works to life, including many pieces written for him. In reviews of his solo playing, The Washington Post has noted his “total confidence, rock-solid technique and a deep sensitivity,” while American Record Guide hailed him as “an excellent violist who approaches the music with intelligence, passion, and clarity.”

Solo concerts have brought him to places such as the Phillips Gallery in Washington DC, Boston’s Jordan Hall, and Manchester, New Hamphsire’s Currier Gallery. Concerto appearances include the Pioneer Valley Symphony in Massachusetts, the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, the Eastern Music Festival, the Highlands Chamber Music Festival, and the Mohawk Trail and Castle Hill festivals. Bagg’s two solo CDs contain music for viola and piano by Robert and Clara Schumann and by Robert Fuchs (1847-1927), on the Centaur label. Contemporary solo works by Malcolm Peyton, Donald Wheelock, Robert Ward and Arthur Levering are on Centaur and Gasparo, and Bridge Records. Bagg directs the chamber music program and teaches viola at Duke University, where he has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies in Music.  From 2007-2011 he was co-Artistic Director of the MonadnockMusic festival. Before moving to Duke he performed with many of New England’s most prominent musical organizations, appearing often with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Handel and Haydn Society, and serving as principal viola for the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra. He graduated with honors from both Yale University (BA) and the New England Conservatory (MM), where he was a student of Walter Trampler.

Typical Courses Taught:

  • Music 106, Chamber music
  • Music 179, Adv st mus performance
  • Music 81, Strings
  • Music 91, Strings

Selected Professional Work:



  • Ciompi Quartet. String Quartets of Paul Schoenfield. Winter, 2008 .  [abs]
  • J.E. Bagg. Music of Robert and Clara Schumann.  Centaur (CRC 2581), 2002 . (R. Schumann: Märchenbilder, op 113, Fantasiesücke op. 73, Adagio and Allegro op. 70, Fairy Tales; C. Schumann: Three Romances, op. 22. Liner notes by Jonathan Bagg)

   Artistic Direction:

  • Artistic Direction, Electric Earth Concerts, Peterborough, NH, January 1, 2012 - present
    Electric Earth Concerts was Founded in January, 2012 by Laura Gilbert, Jonathan Bagg, and Miki Osgood
    It gives affordable public concerts in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire that are meant to inspire, educate, and entertain, often looking beyond music to its connections to literature, dance, and visual art.  
    It also provide music free of charge to groups in the Monadnock region whose members may not easily be able to attend public concerts, but who will benefit from the healing and educational power of live music.

   Other Activities:
  • Music of Chia-Yu Hsu: Journey to the West (String Quartet) Naxos, 2015, 2015/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg; The Ciompi Quartet
  • Elation: works of Stephen Jaffe, Scott Lindroth, and Miriam Gideon, 2014/01/01
    Produced and performed on this disc, with Jonathan E. Bagg; Laura Gilbert, Stacey Shames, Elizabeth Shammash, Stephen Jaffe, Scott Lindroth
    Ciompi Quartet featured in Ernst's String Quartet in B-flat, with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • Best Served Cold: Music of David Lipten; Ictus for String Quartet, 2010/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg; The Ciompi String Quartet
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • String Quartets of Paul Schoenfield, 2008/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • Nathaniel Stookey: Music for Strings, 2005/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • Melancholie, 2003/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • Music of Robert and Clara Schumann, 2002/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • Ciompi Quartet Live at St. Stephens, 2001/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • Studies in Relief, 2001/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • Mark Kuss, 2000/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • Scott Lindroth: Human Gestures, 1999/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • Donald Wheelock: 3 Sonatas, 1998/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • The Music of David Froom, 1998/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • Malcolm Peyton: String Quartet, Songs from Whitman, Suite Nocturnale, 1997/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • The Ciompi Quartet in Concert, 1997/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, 1996/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • Robert Fuchs: Phantasiestücke, Opus 117, Sonate, Opus 86, Trio, Opus 115, 1996/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • The Music of James Bolle, 1996/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • The Ciompi Quartet play Donald Wheelock, 1994/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • American Works for String Quartet, 1993/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg
  • The Ciompi Quartet: Bridge, Beethoven, 1991/01/01
    with Jonathan E. Bagg

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