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Joby Talbot

Born: 1971

Nationality: British

Publisher: Chester Music

Photo © Johan Persson


Joby Talbot was born in Wimbledon, London in 1971. He studied composition privately with Brian Elias and at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, before completing a Master of Music (Composition) at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Simon Bainbridge.

Talbot's career comprehends a range of styles and purposes, including concert works as diverse as a trumpet concerto (Desolation Wilderness, 2006) for Alison Balsom and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; a 60-minute à cappella choral journey along the Camino de Santiago for Nigel Short's Tenebrae (Path of Miracles, 2005); arrangements of songs by Detroit rock duo The White Stripes alongside existing works for choreographer Wayne McGregor's Chroma (2006) at the Royal Ballet; and as a co-commission with the National Ballet of Canada, the music for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (2011), the first full-length narrative ballet score to be commissioned by the Royal Ballet in almost 20 years.

In addition, Talbot has written the madrigal The Wishing Tree (The King's Singers, 2002); the orchestral Sneaker Wave (BBC National Orchestra of Wales, 2004) and an arrangement of Purcell's Chacony in G Minor (BBC Symphony Orchestra, 2011) for the BBC Proms. Worlds, Stars, Systems, Infinity was commissioned in 2012 by the Philharmonia Orchestra as an addition to Holst's The Planets, for the second of their immersive orchestral experiences, 'Universe of Sound'.

Tide Harmonic
(2009), a work for large ensemble, began life as the score for Eau by choreographer Carolyn Carlson and CCN Roubaix. Other significant works written or adapted for dance include Fool's Paradise (2007) for Christopher Wheeldon and Morphoses, an arrangement of Talbot's 2002 silent film score The Dying Swan; Genus (2007) and Entity (2008) for Wayne McGregor and the Paris Opera Ballet and Random Dance respectively; and Chamber Symphony (2012) for the Residentie Orkest/Nederlands Dans Theater and Norwegian Opera and Ballet in Chamber by choreographer Medhi Walerski.

Talbot also has considerable experience writing for the screen, including BBC Two's comedy series The League of Gentlemen and feature films The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Son of Rambow (2007), Franklyn (2008) and Hunky Dory (2011), for which he developed orchestral arrangements of pop songs with young musicians, alongside writing the largely electronic score.

In 2013, Talbot's string quartet Genus was premiered by the Los Angeles-based Calder Quartet as part of the Barbican's weekend of new music curated by Nico Muhly. He completed the score for Working Title's new release Closed Circuit and the theme for BBC One drama Frankie. In 2013, Talbot premiered Genus Quartet with the Calder Quartet, Meniscus with the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing, and a new version of Tide Harmonic for Christopher Wheeldon and Pacific Northwest Ballet, as well as seeing international revivals of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chamber, Chroma, Path of Miracles and Worlds, Stars, Systems, Infinity. Following the premiere of The Winter's Tale in April 2014, Talbot began work on Everest for Dallas Opera, which premiered to critical acclaim in early 2015. Talbot returned his attention to the big screen in 2016 for the animated feature Sing!, written and directed by Garth Jennings for Universal/Illumination studios. Joby had previously worked with Jennings on feature films The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005) and Son of Rambow (2007). Future projects include a guitar concerto for Miloš Karadaglić and a new full- length ballet with Christopher Wheeldon.
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