Jonathan Thomson, DMA

Applied Instructor, Cello
Phone: 626-386-3575
Photo of Jonathan Thomson, DMA


Growing up on a farm in rural Washington State, Jonathan didn't realize until much later that the cumbersome wooden box with strings would bring him the good fortune of traveling to perform in England, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, South Korea. He began playing the cello in fifth grade in public school because he wanted to learn French horn, but lacked the patience needed to wait until band started in sixth grade. Luckily, he never made the switch the following year. His family bought his first cello with an injury settlement after a car accident; around the same time, he nearly had his ring finger amputated because of a basketball injury.

Jonathan is drawn to the musical field because music fosters and requires meaningful interactions between dynamic people. As a chamber musician, he has formed successful string quartets and piano trios that participated in the Fischoff and Coleman chamber music competitions. While in these groups, he received instruction from the Icicle Creek Piano Trio and the Kronos, St. Lawrence, Brentano, Lafayette, and Penderecki quartets. Jonathan has taught at Azusa Pacific University since 2008 and has also taught at the Harmony Project, Education Through Music—LA, Diamond Bar High School, and many private music academies.

Music is, to Jonathan, an unsolvable puzzle. Part of his attraction to the cello is that the work has no end. Further evidence of his bizarre tendencies is his unexplainable fixation with running long distances to return to where he began (he runs marathons). While at UCLA, Jonathan studied with Antonio Lysy (and Lynn Harrell, briefly), and was also a Teaching Fellow for classes such as History of the Beatles and History of Rock 'n' Roll in the widely renowned Department of Musicology.


  • B.M., Central Washington University, William O. Douglas Honors College
  • M.M., Azusa Pacific University
  • DMA, University of California, Los Angeles


  • Artist Certificate, Azusa Pacific University
  • Personal Financial Planning Certificate, UCLA Extension

Academic Areas

  • College of Music and the Arts
  • School of Music (College of Music and the Arts)


  • Cello
  • Chamber Music

Courses Taught

  • MUS 151 – Chamber Ensemble – Strings
  • MUS 1S1 – Applied Strings