Jon Opstad is a London-based composer, working across film, television, contemporary dance and concert music. His music often combines contemporary classical elements with electronics, merging acoustic instrumentation with both modern and vintage electronic instruments and techniques.
Recent work includes scoring the 10-part science fiction drama The Feed for Amazon, starring David Thewlis, Michelle Fairley, Guy Burnet & Nina Toussaint-White; 6-part BBC/UKTV crime drama We Hunt Together and 5-part BBC One period drama The Woman In White, starring Jessie Buckley, Dougray Scott, Charles Dance & Art Malik. Since early 2018 Jon has been the composer for the major Ubisoft video game Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, taking the place of original composers Ben Frost and Paul Haslinger.
Other television scores include two episodes of Charlie Brooker’s cult dystopian Netflix/Channel 4 series Black Mirror (White Bear, and the feature-length special White Christmas starring Jon Hamm); the second series of ITV thriller Safe House, starring Stephen Moyer; 5-part BBC thriller Thirteen, starring Jodie Comer; the acclaimed BAFTA-winning Channel 4 docudrama The Murder Detectives; BAFTA-winning BBC single drama Don’t Take My Baby from writer Jack Thorne; BAFTA-nominated TV movie Cyberbully starring Maisie Williams; Channel 4’s The Watchman, starring Stephen Graham; and the Savile episode of Louis Theroux’s hard-hitting documentary series for BBC Two.
Jon’s composition Blue Sky, White Clouds was released as a single on the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label in 2020, as part of their Project XII series. In summer 2019 Jon’s composition Ignis IV was used as the score for the trailer for the film Ad Astra, starring Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones.
Jon studied music at Cambridge University and film music at the National Film & Television School. After graduating he began his career by working extensively as an additional music composer, programmer and orchestrator for a range of composers including Jocelyn Pook, Max Richter, Martin Phipps, Ruth Barrett, Sheridan Tongue and Richard Thomas, across many film, television and stage projects. Jon was also additional music composer for the Oscar-nominated film Theeb.
Jon’s music often combines his classical training with a progressive approach to electronic music, as shown in his music for The Feed, which is scored for string orchestra, analogue synthesisers, vocals and electric guitars.
Jon contributed synthesiser parts and string arranging to the track Smoke from singer-songwriter Tracey Thorn’s acclaimed 2018 album Record.
Jon was nominated for a British Composer Award in 2014, in the Stage Works category, for his score for contemporary dance work Ignis, combining solo violin with electronics. He was the winner of the 2011 Presteigne Festival competition for composers. Radio broadcasts of his music include BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction and In Tune programmes, as well as New Sounds on New York radio station WNYC, for which Jon was interviewed discussing his music in 2015.
Jon’s latest album, Extensions: Music for Computer-Controlled Prepared Piano was released in March 2022 and is composed entirely of sounds produced by the Yamaha U3 Disklavier – an upright piano that can be controlled via computer.