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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. His most complete musical archives are at Adriance Memorial Library in Poughkeepsie, NY, with sheet music, programs, posters, press clippings, etc. A smaller collection is at Howland Public Library in Beacon, NY.
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 Adriance Memorial Library in Poughkeepsie. 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
- Many elementary and high schools, libraries, and continuing education series
- 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)
The Bronze Collection
- US Tennis Open, grounds entertainment, 2004-2005
- performances in halls, galleries, and outdoors, 2004-2006
- 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 the 2005 Regional Convention of the American Guild of Organists, presenting the Roman Catholic Mass; also commissioned composer of Psalm 139
- Many local concerts from 1981-present
LITURGICAL MUSIC CAREER – CURRENT POSITIONS
1996-present, Vassar Temple, Poughkeepsie, NYTemple Musician; Organist; Director of the Choir and Klei Zemer, a small orchestra from 2002-2009
2012-present, St. Joseph’s R.C. Church, Middletown, NYMusic Director; Organist; Director of the English Choir, Cantors, and coordinator with the Spanish Coro and Haitian Choir
2019-present, United Church, Middletown, NYMusic Director; Organist; Choir Director
- 2000 – present,Congregation Shir Chadash, LaGrangeville, NY
Pianist/accompanist for Saturday morning Shabbat worship, every other week from Sept-May
- 1995 – present, Most Holy Trinity Chapel United States Military Academy, West Point, NY
Substitute organist; Organist at Masses, weddings, funerals and memorials.
2008-2012, Christ Church, Suffern, NYMusic Director, Organist & Choir Director
2008-2009, Poughkeepsie Boys Choir, Poughkeepsie, NYDirector
2007, Lutheran Church of the Resurrection. Mt. Kisco, NY(full time) Music Director; Organist; Director of the Adult Choir, Youth Choir and Handbell Choir;
advisor and keyboardist in Praise Band; coordinator of parish instrumentalists
2006, The Memorial Church of All Angels, Twilight Park, Haines Falls, NYSummer Organist & Choir Director
2005-2006, St. Denis R.C. Church, Hopewell Jct, NYChoirmaster of Adult Choir and Youth Choir
1998-2005, Holy Name of Mary R.C. Church, Croton-on-Hudson, NY(full time) Music Director; Organist; Conductor of the Adult Choir and Cantors, founded and developed the Children’s Choir;
Advisor to the Folk Group
1996-1998, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton R.C. Church, Shrub Oak, NY(full time) Music Director; Organist & Director of the Adult Choir, Cantors, and founded a 45 voice Children’s Choir
1996, Mt. St. Mary College Newburgh, NYInterim Choral Director
1985-1994, St. Mary, Mother of the Church, Fishkill, NY(full time) Music Director; Organist & Choir Director (7 choirs): Adult Choir, Folk Group, founded and developed a 50-voice Children’s Choir, Cantors, Junior Cantors, Handbell Choir, and a 7 piece Orchestra which played weekly and swelled to 15 players on Holy Days;
Teacher of general and liturgical music in St. Mary’s School (1985-89)
1983-1985, St. John the Evangelist R.C. Church, Beacon, NY(full time) Music Director; Organist; Director of the Adult Choir, Children’s Choir, Cantors, and Folk Group
1982-2002, Marist College Chapel, Poughkeepsie, NYChapel Organist & Director of the Liturgical Singers (1998)
1979-1983, Hopewell Reformed Church, Hopewell Jct., NYMusic Director; Organist; Director of the Mixed Choir and Women’s Choir
- 1975-1979, St. Joseph’s R.C. Church, Poughkeepsie, NY
Co-Music Director with the late Sheila Fiumarello; Organist; Director of the English Choir, an occasional Children’s Choir and
(rarely) the Polish Choir
NOTE: All these positions include the coordination and scheduling of the entire program, weekly rehearsals and the preparation thereof, weekly services, Holy Days, staff meetings, administration of the music budget, organizing the various music libraries and attendance rosters, hiring extra musicians, soloists & clinicians, overseeing the maintenance of the organs & pianos, and arranging & composing music as necessary.
In addition, much freelance playing across the Hudson Valley, Westchester and NYC is a regular part of my schedule.