A lifelong Saskatonian (and unofficial 'Mayor of Nutana'), Sheldon was born into a musical family: his mom played piano and his dad played saxophone, and there were numerous talented aunts and uncles as well. With their inspiration and the foundation provided by his private teachers and the band programs at John Lake School and Aden Bowman Collegiate, Sheldon carried on his musical education to the U of S. He graduated with a B.Mus in theory-composition in 1980, including a year of study at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
In addition to being a member of the Concert Band for over 40 years, Sheldon regularly works with a number of notable local musicians and groups, including Solstice, BC Read, Heidi Munro, The Notations and Kids of Note, the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra, and many others. He is also the musical director of Kinsmen Telemiracle. In 2012, he received the Special Recognition Award from the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival.
Sheldon gratefully acknowledges the support of his wonderful family and his talented colleagues in his efforts to maintain a musical career in Saskatoon. He considers it a great privilege to continue to work and learn in his chosen field and plans to keep having fun making music for many years to come.
Appointed by Maestro Paavo Järvi to the position of Associate Principal and Eb Clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 2004, Mr. Gunn then served as Principal Clarinet from 2011 to 2016 before joining the faculty at the Butler School of Music. Prior to joining the Cincinnati Symphony, he was the Principal Clarinetist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and has performed as Guest Principal Clarinet with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on multiple occasions as well as playing with the New York Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh and Colorado Symphony Orchestras.
Mr. Gunn has participated in numerous music festivals including Bard, Tanglewood, Aspen, St. Bart's, Telluride Jazz Celebration, and Ashlawn-Highland Opera Company and is the Principal Clarinetist of the Sunflower Music Festival. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the Wheeling Symphony and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and in August 2016, Mr. Gunn will be featured at the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest performing the Copland Clarinet Concerto. As a chamber musician Jonathan is active around the United States, has performed as a member of Concert:Nova, and has played regularly on the Linton Chamber Music Series in Cincinnati.
Committed to the education of the next generation of clarinetists, Mr. Gunn gives masterclasses and recitals around the country, and has served on the faculties of the Buffet-Crampon Summer Academy, the Aria International Summer Academy and the National Youth Orchestra of the USA. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Texas, he served on the faculties of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Goshen College, Andrews University and Seton Hill University.
Born in Sheffield, England, Mr. Gunn started his musical career playing violin and piano and began studying the clarinet after moving to the United States at age eleven. He received a Bachelor of Music from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and a Master of Music from the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University. Jonathan is married to Jennifer Gunn, who plays piccolo and flute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Gunn is a D’Addario Artist and Musician Advisor, a Buffet Group USA Performing Artist and plays exclusively on Buffet-Crampon clarinets.