Joby Talbot was born in Wimbledon in 1971. He studied composition privately with Brian Elias, and subsequently at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Simon Bainbridge.
Talbot’s career comprehends a range of styles and purposes, including concert works as diverse as a trumpet concerto (Desolation Wilderness, 2006) for Alison Balsom and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; a 60-minute a cappella choral journey along the Camino de Santiago for Nigel Short’s Tenebrae (Path of Miracles, 2005); arrangements of songs by Detroit rock duo The White Stripes alongside existing works for acclaimed choreographer Wayne McGregor’s Chroma (2007) at The Royal Ballet; and, also at The Royal and the National Ballet of Canada, the music for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2011), the first full-length narrative ballet score to be commissioned by The Royal Ballet in almost 20 years.
In addition, Talbot has written the madrigal The Wishing Tree (The King’s Singers, 2002); the orchestral Sneaker Wave (BBC National Orchestra of Wales, 2004) and an arrangement of Purcell’s Chacony in G Minor (BBC Symphony Orchestra, 2011) for the BBC Proms. Worlds, Stars, Systems, Infinity was commissioned in 2012 by the Philharmonia Orchestra as an addition to Holst’s The Planets, for the second of their immersive orchestral experiences, ‘Universe of Sound’.
Tide Harmonic (2009), a work for large ensemble, began life as the score for Eau by choreographer Carolyn Carlson and CCN Roubaix. Other significant works written or adapted for dance include Fool’s Paradise (2007) for Christopher Wheeldon and Morphoses, an arrangement of Talbot’s 2002 silent film score The Dying Swan; Genus (2007) and Entity (2008) for Wayne McGregor and the Paris Opera Ballet and Random Dance respectively; and Chamber Symphony (2012) for the Residentie Orkest in Nederlands Dans Theater’s Chamber by choreographer Medhi Walerski.
Talbot also has considerable experience writing for the screen, including BBC2 comedy series The League of Gentlemen, and feature films The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Son of Rambow (2007), Franklyn (2008) and Hunky Dory (2011), for which he developed orchestral arrangements of pop songs with young musicians, alongside writing the largely electronic score.
Albums include The Dying Swan (2002, Black Box Music), Once Around the Sun (2005, Sony BMG), Path of Miracles (2005, Signum Classics), Aluminium (2006, XL Recordings), Genus (2007, Dear Oh Dear!/ant-zen) and Tide Harmonic (2011, Signum Classics).