Jonathan Moerschel was born into a musical family in Boston, Massachusetts. His mother, a pianist, and his father, a cellist in the Boston Symphony, fostered his early music studies both in piano and violin. At the age of sixteen, he began studying the viola with John Ziarko and chamber music with the violist from the Kolisch Quartet, Eugene Lehner. Moerschel made his Boston Symphony Hall solo debut with the Boston Pops Orchestra directed by Keith Lockhart in 1997 after taking first prize in the Boston Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition.
He is the violist of the renowned Calder Quartet, which enjoys a diverse career, playing both the traditional quartet literature as well as partnering with innovative modern composers. The quartet, a recipient of the 2014 Avery Fischer Career Grant, has recently premiered new works by John Luther Adams, Andrew Norman, Tristan Perich, Daniel Bjarnason, Aaron Jay Kernis, and David Lang.
Moerschel is a Lecturer of Viola and Chamber Music at the University of California Santa Barbara and also an instructor of viola at the Idyllwild Arts Academy. He has collaborated with eminent musicians Joshua Bell, Edgar Meyer, Paul Neubauer, Steven Tenenbaum, Joseph Kalichstein, Claude Frank, Menachem Pressler and Anne-Marie McDermott. He is also a very active studio session player in Los Angeles, and can be heard on countless television and major motion picture soundtracks. He plays on the “ex-Adam” Gasparo Da Salo viola made in the late 16th Century on generous loan from the Stradivari Society in Chicago.
He received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees in viola performance from the University of Southern California, studying with Donald McInnes, and an Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School.