Dr Jonathan Williams

B Mus (Manchester) D Phil (Oxford)


Dr Jonathan (Huw) Williams is the Director of College Music and a renowned conductor, orchestrator, composer and musicologist. Recent highlights include composing award-winning choral music for Sony’s Horizon Zero Dawn, orchestrations for the CBSO and Dutch National Ballet, and the release of a CD with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He is the director of the Rameau Project and recently conducted the UK premiere of the original version of Rameau’s Castor et Pollux and worked with the Georgisches Kammerorchester on their Rameau performances for an audience of 10,000 in Ingolstadt, Germany.

Jonathan’s other collaborations including those with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Concert Orchestra, British Youth Opera, English National Ballet, English Touring Opera, English Chamber Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic, London Mozart Players, Oxford Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Sinfonia Britannica, Trondheim Barokk and the University of London Choir and Orchestra.

In the studio, Jonathan has created award-winning music for TV and film, with his work at Abbey Road studios on orchestral soundtracks with sales of over 80 million copies.

Appointed as the College's first Director of College Music in 2006, Jonathan organises many of the music activities in College, including the popular weekly lunchtime concert series and a full programme of events for the College Choir and Orchestra.


Jonathan has taught at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and lectured at the Royal Academy of Music, Morley College and the Academy of Contemporary Music. He teaches and examines the Oxford FHS Orchestration option and is much sought-after for his tutorials which analyse the great composers' orchestrational processes. Other topics taught include eighteenth-century opera, conducting, and composition for the moving image (particularly for video games). 


Jonathan is the founder and director of the Rameau Project, a major research venture seeking to advance our understanding of the stage works of Jean-Philippe Rameau. This collaboration between Oxford University, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Rameau scholars, musicians and dancers worldwide, began with the modern première of his Bärenreiter edition of Anacréon (1754) in Oxford in 2012. Thanks to generous fellowships from the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), the University’s John Fell Fund and Arts Council England, Jonathan’s work continued during 2014 (Rameau’s anniversary year) with a recording of Anacréon for Signum Classics, numerous BBC broadcasts, an international conference and the performance of three Rameau operas with the OAE at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. He has subsequently conducted the modern premières of Les fêtes d’Hébé (at the Bastille and in London) and Dardanus for English Touring Opera. Thanks to continued support from Madame Aline Foriel-Destezet, Jonathan is currently working in a guide to performing Rameau’s operas.