Widely recognized as one of the most technically commanding performers of the horn, Jonathan (Jon) Boen believes that his experience at the opera adds a layer of soaring lyricism to his interpretations not commonly found in brass playing today. Mr. Boen has served as Principal Horn for the Lyric Opera of Chicago since 1979, a position he secured at the age of 22, one year after joining the company as the orchestra’s third horn. In addition, he has held the position of Principal Horn of the Grant Park Orchestra since 1998, and Music of the Baroque since 1994.


Jon has performed with the Chicago Symphony under Georg Solti and Daniel Barenboim, and was invited by Zubin Mehta to perform with the Israel Philharmonic at the Ravinia Festival. He also has served as Guest Principal Horn for the Dallas Symphony, Santa Fe Opera and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras.As a chamber musician, Jon has appeared with the Chicago Chamber Players, Rembrandt Chamber Players, Contemporary Chamber Players, MusicNow, Colorado College Summer Festival, Sanibel Music Festival and Midsummer’s Music in Door County, Wisconsin.

Mr. Boen is a former member of the Denver Symphony, Chicago Philharmonic, and the Chicago Brass Quintet, with whom he toured extensively and released three recordings. Jon received the prestigious Harvey Shapiro Award for Excellence in Brass as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival.In high demand as a recitalist and orchestral soloist, Jonathan Boen is known for his masterful interpretations of works by J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Lennox, Berkeley, Brahms, Britten, Cherubini, Handel, Martinu, W.A. and Leopold Mozart, Poulenc, Schoenberg, Schumann, Scriabin, Strauss, Telemann and Vivaldi. He premiered Jan Bach’s Horn Concerto in 1983 to great critical acclaim, a work written especially for Mr. Boen by the renowned Illinois composer. In 2004, Jon revived the concerto in an historic performance with the Chicago Philharmonic (then called Symphony II) under the direction of Larry Rachleff, and subsequently recorded the piece for Equilibrium Records.

Mr. Boen’s artistry has been heard in multiple live WFMT Chicago radio broadcasts of concerts by the Lyric Opera, Grant Park and Music of the Baroque orchestras. He was a featured guest on the Studs Terkel program in 1983, and has performed on “Live from WFMT” broadcasts. In addition, Jon has been active in Chicago’s commercial recording studios, having been involved with more than 1,000 jingles for radio and television programs airing nationwide.

Teaching is a very important part of Mr. Boen’s musical life. He has given master classes throughout the United States, in England and Japan. He currently serves on the faculty of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois.