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Constructing Thought, One Note at a Time

Uncle Hokum’s Fiddle for solo violin (2013)

Arias with Dance Glitch (2016)

When the World Disintegrates Before Your Eyes for solo viola (2013)

Movable Home (for string orchestra) (2015)

Wine Ring App Launch Video Score

Triptych for solo cello (2013)

Tomorrow Never Knows

Fallings (Workshop Excerpts)


Gravity of Honey

Concerto (In the Form of Variations) for Viola and Orchestra

The Emily Songs

Lord of Misrule

Elastic Band

What the Living Do

Pas de Deux

Red Ice

Personals – I Think You Should Know

T Tables

Hey Ho, the Wind and the Rain!

Latest News

Musically, I am a “synthesist” - someone who is fascinated by all types of music regardless of genre or style, or whether it is narrative or abstract in nature. When I was a kid, I loved jazz and rock and later discovered classical music. But, as a composition student, I was urged by several of my teachers to specialize among my musical activities – to choose between musical theater/rock or concert music. I resisted and instead resolved to synthesize, rather than compartmentalize my creative work. I have composed music for the concert hall (small and large ensembles), and for musical theater, opera, dance, film, jazz, and rock. My thinking is constantly refreshed through collaborations, teaching activities, and new creative projects.

Back at Stanford for another weekend of “Beatles Intensives!”

2nd December 2016 By joel

For the second year in a row I am back on December 3rd & 4th for a sold-out weekend of teaching my popular “Revolution: The Songwriting of The Beatles” class for Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program. Pivoting off the full course I used to teach there, this is an all day class focusing on the evolution of Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison as composer/lyricists. Nothing is Beatle proof, and a splendid time is guaranteed for all!

Fall-Winter 2016-2017 Newsletter!

30th October 2016 By joel

It’s gonna be a busy Fall & winter 2016-2017

What happens when Soliloquy, two superb & fearless string players (Ariel Horowitz, violin; Lauren Siess, viola), ask for a new piece? Arias with Dance Glitch: a work that includes singing Middle English and… dancing! I told you they were fearless. We had a blast touring the piece throughout CA-OR-DC-NY this past August-September. Arias was commissioned for Soliloquy by my friends at the Irving M. Klein International String Competition

I’m returning to Stanford University for another round of sold-out weekend “Beatles Intensives” this December 3rd & 4th: Revolution: The Songwriting of The Beatles. “A splendid time is guaranteed for all!”

Continuance, my song commissioned by ModernMedieval (Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek and Elizabeth Weinfield) will be premiered on February 4th, 2017 at Spectrum NYC at 9pm and then have a repeat performance on February 11th, 2017 at New York Public Library’s Bruno Walter Auditorium at 2.30pm as part of their Sanctum et Saeculare program. Yes, more Middle English! More on this later (hint: watch out for spring 2018!).

Finally, Johansen, the piece I’ve been commissioned to write for the 2017 Johansen International Competition (JIC) is done! The competition will take place March 14-17, 2018 right here in Washington, DC. I can’t wait to hear these talented young players dig in to me piece!

More good news coming down the pike – but that’s for the next newsletter.

Happy Fall-Winter!


The Strad chimes in on my “fierce little viola piece!”

28th September 2016 By joel

I am thrilled that violist extraordinaire Andrew Gonzalez (and pianist Ji, Yekwon Sunwoo) has received this positively glowing review in this October’s The Strad Magazine for his Bargemusic recital this past July. Bruce Hodges also had kind things to say about my “fierce little viola piece” When the World Disintegrates Before Your Eyes as well. Mark Peskanov, Bargemusic Artistic & Executive Director is doing great things there! Want to read the complete review? Want to peruse the score? Click here!