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Joseph Klein

CountryUnited States of America
Date of birth20 September 1962
OccupationComposer, Conductor, Teacher
CategoriesContemporary, Electronic

Born in Los Angeles in 1962, Joseph Klein holds a Doctor of Music degree in Composition from Indiana University where he studied with Harvey Sollberger, Claude Baker, and Eugene O'Brien. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, where he studied composition with Stan Gibb, and a Master of Arts degree from the University of California at San Diego, where his composition teachers included Robert Erickson, Roger Reynolds, and Bernard Rands. He is currently Distinguished Professor at the University of North Texas College of Music, where he has served as Chair of Composition Studies since 1999.

Klein’s catalogue ranges from solo pieces to works for large ensemble, including instrumental, vocal, and electroacoustic music, often incorporating intermedia or theatrical elements. His compositional work reflects an ongoing interest in systems and musical processes drawn from such sources as fractal geometry and chaos theory, often inspired by natural phenomena. Recent works have reflected literary influences from Franz Kafka to Alice Fulton, including a number of works based on the writings of Elias Canetti. Klein’s compositions have been performed and broadcast throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia, and have been featured at national and international music venues including the Gaudeamus International Musicweek (Amsterdam), 11th Biennial Symposium on Arts and Technology, Symposium XII for New Band Music, Living Arts of Tulsa New Genre Festival, and the American Music Week in Bulgaria (Sofia); contemporary music festivals at Louisiana, Bowling Green, Florida State, Towson, Morehead State, and Western Illinois Universities, The Juilliard School, the University of Florida, and the University of Memphis; and conferences of the Society of Electroacoustic Music in the United States, International Trombone Association, North American Saxophone Alliance, World Saxophone Congress, International Trumpet Guild, International Double Reed Society, Percussive Arts Society, Society of Composers, Inc., and the Music Educators National Conference. He has been a featured guest composer at such institutions as Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, SUNY Buffalo, University of Louisville, University of North Dakota, Pepperdine University, Arkansas Governor's School, American University in Bulgaria (Blagoevgrad), Janácek Akademie (Brno, Czech Republic), National Taiwan Normal University (Taipei, Taiwan), and Myongji University (Yongin, South Korea), where he has presented lectures and master classes, organized concerts, and conducted performances of new music.

Research and teaching interests include postmodern aesthetics, the role of the composer in society, contemporary notational practices, and the work of Frank Zappa. He has presented papers at the Observatoire internationale de la creation musicale (Université de Montréal), the Lodz Academy of International Studies (Lodz, Poland), and the International Workshop on Computer Music and Audio Technology (Hsinchu, Taiwan). Klein is the recipient of awards and honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Composers Forum/Jerome Foundation, the American Music Center, the Gaudeamus Foundation of Amsterdam, Phi Mu Alpha, Meet the Composer, and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). His works are recorded on the Innova, Centaur, Crystal, and Mark labels.

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