Composer, producer, and violist Jonah Sirota is a new breed of multi-talented musician. Equally at home scoring and recording music for TV, film, and video games, writing concert music, and performing as a soloist and chamber musician, Jonah creates and recreates vivid music for a wide variety of audiences. He has performed and/or arranged music for numerous projects including the 2021 Oscar-nominated animated short If Anything Happens I Love You…, the 2021 Sundance film Wild Hearts, and major cinematic releases from Mulan to the Mandalorian. His recent EP Storylander brings his unique string voice to life in cinematic cues made for visual media. His debut solo recording STRONG SAD features premiere recordings of new elegies for the viola by Nico Muhly, Paola Prestini, Arthur Joseph McCaffrey, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Robert Sirota, Kurt Knecht, and Jonah himself. Recent concert compositions include Entangled—a flute and viola d’amore duo for Christina Jennings and Matthew Dane, and the string quartet Socially Distant, commissioned by the Hartt School of Music.
Jonah was the violist of the recently-disbanded Chiara String Quartet for all of its 18 years. With the Chiara Quartet, he toured internationally, recorded seven albums and played in numerous major venues worldwide. The Chiara Quartet performed much of the string quartet repertoire from memory (‘By Heart”), including the complete string quartets of Béla Bartók, a recording of which was released in 2016 on Azica Records. The group was honored with a Grammy nomination (2011, Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Jefferson Friedman’s 3rd String Quartet on the New Amsterdam label), the ASCAP/CMA Adventurous Programming Award, the Guarneri Quartet Award, and top prizes at the Paolo Borciani, Astral, and Fischoff competitions. Their albums have been featured on N.P.R., and in “Best of the Year” lists from the Boston Globe, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. In the 2015-2016 season, the group was in residence at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, a venue to which the group returned for their farewell New York concert in May of 2018.
As a concert violist, Jonah performs with pianist Molly Morkoski, with organist Kurt Knecht as the improv duo Mondegreen, and as a member of the revived California String Quartet. He is sought after as a session player and regularly plays with major orchestras, including the Long Beach Symphony, where he is Assistant Principal Viola. He coaches chamber music at the Colburn School, teaches viola at Cal State University Fullerton and the Greenwood Music Camp, and gives viola and composition masterclasses and residencies across the country. He resides in South Pasadena, CA.