Jonathan Boen

Lecturer, Horn

Jonathan Boen

BM, Northern Illinois University

Jonathan (Jon) Boen has served as principal horn for the Lyric Opera of Chicago since 1979, a position he secured at the age of 22 after joining Lyric as third horn a year earlier. In addition, he is principal horn of the Grant Park Orchestra (a position he has held since 1998), Music of the Baroque and the Chicago Philharmonic. Boen has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Sir Georg Solti, and the Israel Philharmonic at the Ravinia Festival, at the request of Maestro Zubin Mehta. He also has been guest principal horn for the Santa Fe Opera and the Milwaukee Symphony. 

Boen has appeared with a variety of groups, including the Contemporary Chamber Players and Music Now. He is a former member of the Denver Symphony and the Chicago Brass Quintet, with whom he toured extensively and released three recordings. Boen also has taken part in the Colorado College Summer Festival, the Sanibel Music Festival, and Midsummer’s Music in Door County, Wisconsin. He spent two summers at the Tanglewood Music Festival. 

In high demand both as a recitalist and orchestra soloist, Boen is known for his performances of works by J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Lennox Berkeley, Brahms, Britten, Cherubini, Handel, Martinu, W.A. and Leopold Mozart, Poulenc, Schumann, Scriabin, Strauss, Telemann, and Vivaldi. 

To critical acclaim, he premiered Jan Bach’s Horn Concerto in 1983, a work written especially for him by the renowned Illinois composer. In 2004, Boen revived the concerto in a historic performance with the Chicago Philharmonic (then called Symphony II).

Boenhas been heard in multiple live WFMT Chicago radio broadcasts of concerts by the Lyric Opera, The Grant Park Orchestra, and Music of the Baroque. He has been a guest on the Studs Terkel program, and has performed with “Live from WFMT.” 

In addition, Boen has been active in Chicago’s commercial recording studios, having taped more than 1,000 jingles for radio and television programs airing nationwide. 

Teaching is an important part of Boen’s musical life: he has given master classes throughout the United States, as well as in England and Japan.

A graduate of Northern Illinois University, Boen studied with William Klingelhoffer. He has received the Harry Shapiro Award for Excellence in Brass Performance.