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EWU Music Department
119 Music Building
Cheney, WA 99004
phone: 509.359.2241
fax: 509.359.7028

  • Dr. Jonathan Middleton, Department Chair & Professor of Composition
    Dr. Jonathan Middleton, Department Chair & Professor of Composition
    Department Chair & Professor of Music
    Phone: (509)359-6116
    Fax: (509)359-7028

    Dr. Jonathan Middleton is a composer, music researcher, and professor at Eastern Washington University. He is also currently serving as the EWU Music Department Chair. His creative interests include spontaneous approaches to composition through stream of consciousness and algorithmic composition. The foundation of his work is created from Web-based software he originally designed in 2004. The application, available on the Web at and, provides a user-friendly environment where anyone can create music from varied data sources. Dr. Middleton's work is often collaborative; his most recent research involves partnerships in the areas of biochemistry (proteins), agricultural economics, and environmental science (salmon). Some of his work is being completed at the University of Tampere between 2015 and 2017, where he is working on data-to-music sonification research and new compositions.

    Dr. Middleton obtained his Doctor of Musical Arts in 1999 from Columbia University where he was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the School of the Arts. He has studied composition with numerous professors including Fred Lerdahl, Jonathan Kramer, Emma Lou Diemer, William Kraft, Frederic Rzewski, Ann Kearns, Dan Warner, Peter Golub and Pulitzer Prize winners Roger Reynolds and Lewis Spratlan. He also studied contemporary compositional techniques with Kyle Gann and Tristan Murail.

    As a mid-career composer, Dr. Middleton has created many works, from orchestral to electronic. In recent years he has received numerous commissions with performances and recordings by professional ensembles: Czech Philharmonic, Kiev Philharmonic, Millennium Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Coeur d'Alene Symphony, Paradox, MoPho, and Music Northwest. His music is featured on the cd's Soak, ERM Masterworks of the New Era vols. 11 and 17, and ERM Music of the Americas. In 2008, he co-authored an article with Diane Dowd in the journal Leonardo (41/2 2008), which describes his creative process with the "musicalgorithms" software.

    In addition to teaching, Dr. Middleton has served as a visiting scholar and composer at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) where he completed a new work for mobile phones with performances at Stanford, Belfast, Helsinki, Monterey and Berkeley. He is currently in residence on a part-time basis with the Human Computer Interaction Unit at the University of Tampere in Finland. Dr. Middleton is also working on a composition textbook for Waveland Press and an opera for concert band.

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