Jonathan Small has been principal oboist with the RLPO since 1984 and enjoys a reputation as a highly individual artist, whose eloquent, inspired playing combines individuality with unceasing scholarship. He has played as guest principal with most of the country’s major orchestras, and appears as a concerto soloist in the UK and abroad. 

Jonathan's recording s include the Strauss Concerto and the Vaughan Williams Concerto with the late Vernon Handley which remains a recommended recording of the work. In 2010 Jonathan recorded an album of English oboe concertos for Dutton Epoch.

Jonathan has always been active in contemporary music, and plays regularly with Liverpool Philharmonic’s Ensemble 10:10. He gave the premiere of Mark Simpson’s Nur Musik in 2008, and in January 2009 performed Extase II for oboe and ensemble by the Chinese composer Qigang Chen. September 2010 saw Jonathan give the UK premiere of Rodion Shchedrin’s Concerto with the RLPO and Vasily Petrenko.

Jonathan’s many solo appearances abroad include invitations to the Czech Republic - where he gave the Martinu Concerto at Prague Spring Festival -  Germany, Sweden and Switzerland, USA, China and Australia. He holds the appointment as Guest Professor of Oboe at Beijing Central Conservatory, Chin and was one of several artists invited to lead the 2011 Beijing International Oboe Festival, working alongside Albrecht Mayer (Berlin Philharmonic) and Robert Walters (Cleveland Orchestra).

Jonathan is now also building a career as a conductor, espousing the same values he holds dear as an instrumentalist working with professional and amateur ensembles.