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Repertory Archive

Joby Talbot


Joby Talbot was born in London in 1971. He studied composition under Brian Elias, as well as 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 early works include the choral piece Path of Miracles, written for Tenebrae and performed in 2005, and the trumpet concerto Desolation Wilderness, first performed by Alison Balsom and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 2006. In 2006, Talbot made his Royal Ballet debut, creating the score for Royal Ballet Resident Choreographer Wayner McGregor’s Chroma 

Talbot’s diverse catalogue includes the narrative ballets Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2011) and The Winter’s Tale (2014), both collaborations with choreographer Christopher Wheeldon for The Royal Ballet and National Ballet of Canada that have since entered the repertory of companies worldwide. The Winter’s Tale of which was awarded the prestigious Prix Benois de la Danse a year after its premiere. Tablot’s other works include Worlds, Stars, Systems, Infinity (2012), an additional movement to Holst’s The Planets for the Philharmonia Orchestra’s interactive digital installation titled Universe of Sound under Esa-Pekka Salonen, Genus Quartet, a composition created for Los Angeles’ acclaimed Calder Quartet in 2013, which premiered as part of the Barbican’s weekend of new music curated by Nico Muhly, and Everest, an opera given its premiere by The Dallas Opera in 2015.  

Talbot’s film and television credits include, The League of Gentlemen, The Hitchhiker’s Gude to the Galaxy, Son of Rambow, Franklyn, Closed Circuit, and the hugely popular animated feature Sing. For the BBC Proms, Talbot has written The Wishing Tree (The King’s Singers, 2002), Sneaker Wave (BBC National Orchestra of Wales, 2004), an arrangement of Purcell’s Chacony in G Minor (BBC Symphony Orchestra, 2011), and Ink Dark Moon, a concerto for the acclaimed guitarist Miloš Karadaglić (BBC Symphony orchestra, 2018).He has been twice commissioned by the British Film Institute, to re-score silent films The Lodger (1999) and The Dying Swan (2002). A new score to Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1932 Vampyr for LA Opera’s Off Grand season at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles was presented on October 27, 2018. 

Talbot’s dance composition background additionally includes Wheeldon’s Fool’s Paradise (Morphoses, 2007), McGregor’s Entity (Wayne McGregor/Random Dance, 2008), and Genus (Paris Opera Ballet, 2007) and Chamber Symphony for Medhi Walerski’s Chamber (Residentie Orkest/Nederlands Dans Theater and Norwegian Opera and Ballet, 2012). Current and in-progress works include a Cantata commissioned by Independent Opera for Britten Sinfonia and Britten Sinfonia Voices, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Like Water for Chocolate, among others.