May 14, 1962 - August 11, 2018
Thinking of our beloved Stig "Jonas" Pettersson on this day, his birthday May 14. Originally from Lund, Sweden, Jonas was a resident of the Southbay for more than 30 years. He attended Mira Costa High School as a transfer student and moved back to Hermosa Beach after graduating from high school in Skanor Sweden. His dream of owning a music school came to fruition when he opened Alchemy Music at 350 Sepulveda Blvd in Manhattan Beach in 1990. As his school grew and more teachers worked from his expanding space, he changed the name of the school to Manhattan Beach Music and Voice.
Jonas was an exceptionally well-received musician. He played guitar in multiple bands and was a gifted multi-instrumental musician. He ran amongst the finest of musicians, from one of his favorites, classical pianist Richard Greyson to an audition with Dr. Dre, which came close to a brawl with Snoop Dogg.
Jonas loved teaching music. His students were a source of solace, a source of relief from the internal struggle that filled his emotional being. He produced several student recitals and was truly delighted to watch his students perform for their family and friends. He had so many heartwarming and fun stories about those that he taught and those who taught with him.
He authored the novel Pulsslag (2006) which was based on his memoirs from 1991, the year his only child Johannes Gunnar "Aloysha" was born. The last years of his life were spent composing critically acclaimed contemporary classical operas and ballets. Gaudi, Dancing with Architecture (2007), Romeo and Juliet (2011), A Dream Play (2011), Diary of a Seducer (2013), and Dracula Letters (2014). Musicians and collaborators in his works described him as having a deep soul and passion for music. A magnificent talent. A man with big dreams that were beautiful and fragile…sometimes broken.
Most of all, Jonas was a friend. The loss of Jonas has been devastating indeed. He was a man who expected and evoked emotional and thoughtful responses that were beyond and more profound than what you initially felt or were capable of. He combined intensity with tenderness and could touch a soul with his passionate words, music, photography, and writing. His sadness ran deep but so did his joy for what he loved.
Happy Birthday Jonas. You are in the hearts of many…
Published in The Beach Reporter on May 20, 2020.