Joseph N. Rubinstein was born in Cleveland, OH, and grew up there and in Newport News, VA. Now based in New York City, his music is largely focused on texted and dramatic genres like opera, art song, and choral music. With an emphasis on emotional directness and vivid storytelling, Joseph’s melodically driven and dramatic work is often inspired by intimate scenarios that engage with American history and landscape, explorations of identity, and the natural world. His style is particularly informed by the folk-influenced concert music of the United States, United Kingdom, and Russia, and by minimalism, the sacred choral music tradition, and musical theater.
Joseph’s work has been presented at organizations including Fort Worth Opera Festival, the Seagle Music Festival, American Opera Projects, The Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater, the American Traditions Vocal Competition, Amanda+James, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale’s art song recital series, Renee Fleming’s SongStudio at Carnegie Hall, The Secret Opera, Spoleto Festival USA’s “Intermezzi”, the Society for New Music, and C4. He has received commissions from Essential Voices USA, The Young New Yorkers’ Chorus, The Urbana Public Arts Council, New Vintage Baroque, and the Cheah-Chan Duo, among others.
Joseph’s work has been supported by a Repertoire Development Grant from Opera America (2020), as well as an Opera Genesis Fellowship at the Hermitage Artist Colony (2018 / 2019). His music has received awards and recognition from The National Association of Teachers of Singing, The Institute for Choral Creativity, and the Society for New Music, among others. He was a 2013-2015 fellow in American Opera Projects’ “Composers & The Voice” program, and is an alumnus of the Composer-Librettist Studio at New Dramatists (2016) and the Pacific Chorale’s “Choral Sketches” program (2019). Joseph’s vocal works are published with North Star Music LLC, Hal Leonard, and See-A-Dot music, and have been recorded on the 4Tay, Albany, and Crossover labels.
Joseph studied at Columbia University (BA) and at The Juilliard School (MM). He further studied with composer Tarik O’Regan, and at the Bowdoin International Music Festival and Yale Summer School of Music at Norfolk. An enthusiastic collaborator, he has worked on new theatrical works and songs with librettists and writers including Mark Campbell, Jason Kim, and Melisa Tien. He is active as a professional choral performer in the New York City area, and works as both a singer and as a concert planner and music administrator.