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American composer Joseph Bertolozzi forges a unique identity as a 21st century musician with works ranging from solo gongs to full symphony orchestra to sound-art installations. With increasingly numerous performances across the US and Europe to his credit, his music is performed in concert halls and conservatories, and he himself has played at such diverse venues as The Vatican and The US Tennis Open.
His latest explorations in sound have brought him to ‘Tower Music,’ using the Eiffel Tower in Paris itself as his instrument; the album reaches #11 on the iTunes Classical Chart and #16 on the Billboard Classical Crossover Charts. This project builds upon ‘Bridge Music,’ his “audacious plan” (New York Times) to compose music for a suspension bridge using New York’s Mid Hudson Bridge. These works have brought Bertolozzi sustained international attention. In 2009 his CD “Bridge Music“ (Delos) reached #18 on the Billboard Classical Crossover Music Chart.
His concert music and theatrical scores have also enjoyed particular success, including “The Contemplation of Bravery,” an official 2002 Bicentennial commission for The United States Military Academy at West Point and his incidental score to “Waiting for Godot” at the 1991 Festival Internationale de Café Theatre in Nancy, France. He also has a large body of liturgical music for use in both Christian and Jewish worship. Many of his compositions can be heard at www.JosephBertolozzi.com and The American Music Center library.newmusicusa.org/josephbertolozzi.
Skilled as a concert organist, he’s performed his own compositions as well as those of the classical literature in the US and in Italy, Poland, Portugal (for the US State Dept.), and Spain on some of the finest and oldest organs in the world, including St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. He is Organist at Vassar Temple in Poughkeepsie, NY and The Church of St. Joseph in Middletown NY. He photographed and wrote the book BEACON PIPES about the pipe organs of Beacon, NY and also catalogued many Hudson Valley pipe organs for the Organ Historical Society and the Central Hudson Valley chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
He also performs and composes for his percussion project “The Bronze Collection,” a unique collection of over 60 gongs and cymbals from around the world. He is a Vic Firth Artist.
Born in 1959 in Poughkeepsie, NY one year after his parents and sister emigrated from Lucca, Italy, he was a voracious reader as a child. When his interest turned to music he read biographies of composers, music encyclopedias, and ultimately musical scores from the local library. He began organ lessons solely to learn how to notate the compositions he aspired to create.
He went on to receive his B.A. in music from Vassar College, and did further study at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana (with Xenakis and Donatoni), Westminster Choir College, and The Juilliard School, as well as numerous professional workshops with ASCAP, The American Music Center, and Carnegie Hall (contemporary conducting techniques with Boulez).
His foremost influences are Wendy Carlos, Rick Wakeman, Yes, Messaien, Stravinsky, Gregorian Chant, Caravaggio and Bernini. He also counts among his favorites the work of Scriabin, Bartok, The Beatles, Leonardo da Vinci, Salvador Dali, Mark Rothko, the English Romantic painters Millais, Leighton and Waterhouse, poet Amy Jo Zook, and writer Nikos Kazantzakis.
CDs and digital downloads of his music are available from iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all other major outlets and also from his website www.JosephBertolozzi.com.
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- TOWER MUSIC / MUSIQUE DE LA TOUR – Joseph Bertolozzi at the Eiffel Tower, innova #933
- DELOS’ 40th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION! ENCORES: 13 CHOICE BONUS TRACKS – a companion to the 40-for-40 Collection including The River That Flows Both Ways from Bridge Music. DE1630, Delos
- PETE SEEGER: THE STORM KING – Stories, Narratives, Poems: Spoken Word Set to a World of Music by Pete Seeger. Percussionist (gongs) on the track “Father.” 2-11830, Hachette Audio.
- THE NYFA COLLECTION: 25 YEARS OF NEW YORK NEW MUSIC – a 3-disk anthology including Meltdown from Bridge Music. INN 233, Innova.
- BRIDGE MUSIC – Joseph Bertolozzi at the Mid Hudson Bridge, DE1045, Delos
(reaching #18 on Billboard’s Classical Crossover Chart, summer of 2009)
- TWO HUNDRED YEARS OF EXCELLENCE, VOL. 3 – The USMA Concert Band, with SFC Harry F. Ditzel, horn, and CPT Tod Addison, conductor, featuring The Contemplation of Bravery. An official United States Military Academy Bicentennial Commemorative CD. WPB103, West Point.
- THE CONTEMPLATION OF BRAVERY – Seattlemusic, Joel Suben, conductor featuring Suite Poughkeepsie, The Contemplation of Bravery, & “An Age Will Come…” BWP 8806, Blue Wings Press.
- SONGS & WALTZES – Joseph Bertolozzi piano, BWP4288, Blue Wings Press.
- THE BRONZE COLLECTION – Joseph Bertolozzi percussion, BWP7904, Blue Wings Press.
- CLASSIC PRAISE – with Michael Sust, baritone, Troy Rowley, trumpet and Jo Deen Blaine Davis, organ, featuring The Trumpet of Salvation. Prays! Music Publishing.
- RECORDED IN THE YEAR 2000 – Marjorie Jacskon Rasche, organ, featuring Chorale Prelude on “Fulda” and Tarantella. Private issue, from Moody Methodist Church, Galveston, Texas.
- OUR HOMETOWN: POUGHKEEPSIE – March 2001. WMHT Telecommunications (PBS, Schenectady, NY) documentary, with The Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Randall Craig Fleisher, conductor in music from Suite Poughkeepsie for the broadcast itself and in a bonus music video track at the end.
- THE TEAM – original 1978 cast recording, reissued on CD by Blue Wings Press in 2000.
- ENVIRONMENTAL SOUND ARTISTS – Bianchi & Manzo, Oxford University Press, 2016 – contributing a full dedicated chapter on Bridge Music and Tower Music.
- BEACON PIPES – a historical overview of the pipe organs of Beacon, NY, 2013
- BEACONS OF MUSIC – text writer for a photographic book of the musicians of Beacon, NY, (with The Rutigliano Group)
LECTURE/DEMONSTRATIONS (on Bridge Music & Tower Music):
- New York University
- Vassar College
- City College of New York
- Wichita State University
- Clark University
- Southern Oregon University, Ashland
- Davidson College
- State University at New Paltz, NY
- Mt. St. Mary College
- Clinton Community College & SUNY Plattsburgh, NY
- Orange County Community College, Middletown/Newburgh, NY
- New Music USA Project Grant for the Tower Music Percussion Quintet, 2018
- A.S.C.A.P. Standard Award, 2016-1991
- Dutchess County Executive’s Arts Award for Art in Public Places for “BMW of the Hudson Valley’s “Beacons of Music,“ 2012
- Dutchess County Arts Council: Individual Artist Fellowship in Music Performance, 2011
- Dutchess County Arts Council: Project Grant with St. Peter’s School, Hyde Park, NY, 2011
- Dutchess County Executive’s Individual Artist Award, 2009
- New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, 2008.
- Dutchess County Arts Council (NYSCA): Individual Artist Fellowship in Music Composition, 2005
- Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance Program, 1998, 1992
- Meet The Composer, 1989, 1984
- US State Department (USIS), 1985 (organ concert tour of Portugal)
- Organist, Vassar Temple, Poughkeepsie, NY, 1996-present
- Director of Music, St. Joseph’s Church, Middletown, NY, 2012-present
- Substitute Organist, United States Military Academy at West Point, 1995-present
- US State Department tour of Portugal, 1985
- Concert tour of Europe (Italy Poland, Spain), 1982
- Touring organ recitalist, US eastern seaboard, 1982-2002
- Organist & Choir Director for 2005 Regional Convention of the American Guild of Organists, presenting the Roman Catholic Mass; also commissioned composer of Psalm 139