B i o g r a p h y
Joseph Thalken is an award-winning composer whose theater and concert works have been performed internationally. His musicals include HAROLD AND MAUDE, book/lyrics by Tom Jones, WAS, book/lyrics by Barry Kleinbort, AND THE CURTAIN RISES, book by Michael Slade, lyrics by Mark Campbell, and BORROWED DUST, book/lyrics by Martin Moran.
Honors include two Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Foundation Musical Theater Commendations, the Constance Klinsky Award, Meet the Composer award, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and support from the Shen Family Foundation which included Mr. Thalken in their Musical Theater Composers Initiative, a select group, including the legendary Stephen Sondheim, that has received grants and commissions to create new works and expand the musical theater art form.
His concert works include chamber, choral, orchestral, wind and vocal music for a wide variety of artists. As a pianist, conductor and/or arranger, he has worked with Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Polly Bergen, Rebecca Luker, B. J. Ward, Faith Prince, Marin Mazzie, Elizabeth Futral, Anna Bergman, Denyce Graves, Michael Crawford, Barry Manilow, Howard McGillin, Jason Danieley, Nathan Gunn, Brian Stokes Mitchell and many others.
After graduating from Northwestern University, he worked at the Zurich Opera Studio and spent several years at the Stadttheater Aachen (Germany) as a conductor, pianist and composer. A long-time New York City resident, he has taught music theater composition at Yale University.