Born in 1939, Jonathan was a chorister at St Michael’s College, Tenbury (1948-52) and later a major music scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge. He gained doctorates and also studied privately (on the advice of Benjamin Britten) with Erwin Stein and Hans Keller, thus gaining an early acquaintance with the school of Schoenberg. Whilst a Harkness Fellow at Princeton (1969-70) he was brought into contact with Milton Babbitt. An invitation from Boulez to work at IRCAM in the early 1980s has resulted in several realisations at the Institute (plus more for its associated Ensemble Intercontemporain), including the widely praised tape pieces ‘Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco’, ‘Ritual Melodies’ and ‘Mythic Figures’.
Jonathan has also composed for orchestra, chamber as well as works for solo instruments. He has also produced a large and varied output of choral works. Harvey now attracts commissions from a host of international organisations. He is regularly performed at all the major international contemporary music festivals, and has a reputation as one of the most skilled and imaginative composers working in electronic music.