Jonathan Solari's appointment as CEO of Madison Ballet combines a long career in the arts with a love for continuously strengthening his adopted home of Madison.
At 27, Jonathan founded New Brooklyn Theatre to restore a historic theatre in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of New York City. Under his leadership, the company was heralded as the "flash point for the fusion of theatre and politics" by The New York Times. It partnered with Harvard University to perform Chekhov in Turkish farmlands and presented Ibsen on a stage floating outside of the state capital in West Virginia. His production of Edward Albee's The Death of Bessie Smith is credited with saving Brooklyn's Interfaith Medical Center from closure in what The Wall Street Journal called the "most dramatic blend of theater and health policy in nearly 30 years."
As a theatre and opera director, Jonathan has worked with some of the greatest artists of his time. He has staged works for Lincoln Center, Maestro Lorin Maazel's Castelton Festival, and Belarus Free Theatre, among many others.
Since moving to Madison with his wife, Courtney Nelson, he has worked to build a culture of philanthropy with organizations including Community Shares of Wisconsin, Planned Parenthood, Working Capital for Community Needs, and United Way of Dane County. He loves to exchange ideas through travel and currently serves as the at-large member of the City of Madison's Sister City Collaboration Committee.
Jonathan holds degrees from New York University and Boston University.