The atmospheric and evocative music of Jonathan David Little is notable for its mystical beauty, intensity, and richness of material. After initial studies at the University of Melbourne, where he won the Lady Turner Exhibition, he completed a Doctoral degree researching the development of ‘exotic’ orchestration in 19th and 20th-century music. Interviewed in the Sept-Oct 2012 issue of American Fanfare, Little’s musical style was defined as ‘ecstatic minimalism.’ Italian and other European critics have preferred the more general terms ‘antique futurism’ or ‘picturesque archaism.’
Little was the first Australian-born composer to be awarded the prestigious Collard Fellowship of the UK’s Worshipful Company of Musicians (est.1500), and also the first composer to receive a Professional Development Award from the UK music business’s own charity, the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund. In 2016 he won a Royal Philharmonic Society “ENCORE Choral” Award (UK), in 2017 Special Distinction for his orchestral music in the ASCAP Rudolf Nissim Prize (USA) – and in January 2018 his polychoral Kyrie was nominated for “Best Classical Music Recording” at the inaugural RoundGlass Global Music Awards (USA-INDIA). His entire body of polychoral music was also nominated for the 2018 AUSTRALIA PRIZE – the nation’s premier and most distinguished award in the Arts and Humanities.
Little’s most recent choral album, WOEFULLY ARRAYED (2017) – featuring three choirs from the US & UK – has been praised by leading record review magazines worldwide. Fanfare called it “a masterpiece … radiant … a superb disc,” Gramophone thought it “masterly” and “luminous,” while Audiophile Audition felt it to be “fantastically beautiful … a delight on all fronts.” Choir & Organ (UK) reported of his choral music that “Little writes very much in the manner of the renaissance masters, creating what a modern sensibility would identify as ‘immersive’ music of strongly mystical aspect.”