JONELEIT, JENS (b. 1968)

Jens Joneleit is a gifted contemporary composer born in Offenbach, Germany, in 1968. In his formative years as a composer, he was largely influenced by the musical environment provided by his parents who both play the piano. Realizing their son's talent in music early on, Jens Joneleit was sent to a music school to learn basic theory skills when he was seven years old. In 1975, Jens started to take percussion lessons and successively took part in performing with the marching band of his home town Nieder-Roden.
From 1984-1986, Jens Joneleit taught himself the piano during which time he became more interested in composing music, writing compositions for solo piano and percussion.
In 1988, Jens graduated from the Gymnasium finishing his Abitur. During the years in the Gymnasium, he composed his first symphony and other orchestral tone poems. For the next two years, Jens toiled in his required civil service and had little time for writing music.
After a providential train trip, in conjuction with an exchange program between the University of Oldenburg, Germany, Jens went to the University of South Dakota where he started to study art and music. It was here that he met the two composers, Dr. Robert Marek and Lewis Hamva, who became his teachers the following years.
In 1992, Jens graduated from the University of South Dakota with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Art and a minor in Music. It was the same year that he was accepted into graduate school in Madison, at the University of Wisconsin. In Madison, Jens found a highly inspirational environment which enabled him to compose steadily and prolifically. Although he was a graduate student in the art department, obtaining his Master of Fine Arts in painting, he also studied with composer Prof. Joel Naumann.
Since 1992, while living in Madison, he has composed three more symphonies, two symphonic poems, a concerto for piano and over thirty chamber works for a diverse media which have been premiered both in Madison, Wisconsin and Bayreuth, Germany. In 1996, Jens completed both his sixth and seventh symphony for orchestra. He also composed various pieces for Gerd Seifert and other musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. In May 1997, Jens Joneliet graduated from the Univerity of Wisconsin with a Master of Fine Arts. He lives both in Germany and the United States.