Joseph Phibbs was born in London and studied at The Purcell School with the support of a Suffolk County Council scholarship, before continuing his education at King’s College London (First Class Honours) and Cornell University. His teachers have included Param Vir, Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Steven Stucky.
Phibbs’s works have been championed by leading conductors, including Esa-Pekka Salonen and Leonard Slatkin, and have received performances throughout Europe and beyond. Rivers to the Sea, his largest orchestral work to date, was premiered to widespread critical acclaim in 2012 by the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen (broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 from the Royal Festival Hall). It has since been performed extensively both in the UK and abroad.Other major orchestras to have performed his work include the London Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington), National Youth Wind Ensemble (conducted by Phillip Scott) and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, for whom he has written several works to date, including In Camera and Lumina (commissioned for the 2003 BBC Last Night of the Proms).
His instrumental music has been premiered by the London Sinfonietta, Chroma, the Belcea Quartet and the Britten Sinfonia, and has featured at the Aldeburgh, Bath, City of London, Spitalfields, Bonn Beethovenfest and Cheltenham festivals, as well as Presteigne, where he was Featured Composer in 2011. He has also composed concertos for Dame Evelyn Glennie (Bar Veloce), Sarah Williamson, and Nicholas Daniel (Towards Purcell, for oboe, horn, harp and orchestra, written for the Purcell School’s 50th Anniversary). Large scale choral works include Tenebrae for choir and orchestra, Choral Songs of Homage (commissioned by Aldeburgh Music Club for the Britten centenary), and Shadows of Sleep (premiered by school choirs from Suffolk in 2010 at Snape Maltings). Future projects include a harp concerto for David Watkins, a work for the Navarra Quartet, and an orchestral piece for the Evian Festival.
Joseph is a director of the Britten Estate Ltd, and teaches composition part-time at The Purcell School and King’s College London.