Joe Cutler has been described as ‘writing music of quirky dancing energy and humour mingled with mystery’ (Ivan Hewett, Daily Telegraph). For more than 20 years, he has been a distinctive figure on the contemporary music scene, often exploring the spaces between genre.
His music has been performed in over 40 countries and on six continents including performances at festivals and venues such as Bang-on-a-Can Music Marathon (New York), Gaudeamus Music Week (Amsterdam and Utrecht), Opera City (Tokyo), Musik Monat (Basle), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Beijing Modern Music Festival, London Jazz Festival and the BBC Proms. He has built up particularly close relationships with groups and ensembles such as Orkest de Ereprijs, the Fidelio Trio, soprano Sarah Leonard, and the collective Noszferatu which he co-directs.
He has worked both in the concert hall and outside, collaborating with visual artists such as Tom Dale and Jaap Drupsteen, also writing the incidental music for the National Theatre’s multi-award winning production of Charlotte Jones’ Humble Boy which subsequently transferred to the West End and Broadway. Ping!, a collaboration with the Coull String Quartet, Fusion Table Tennis Club and artist Tom Dale, was one of the highlights of the 2012 London Cultural Olympiad.
He has released three full-length albums: in 2008 Bartlebooth was released on NMC and was one of Gramophone Magazine’s Top 20 Releases of the Year. This was followed in 2014 by Boogie Nights released on Birmingham Record Company. His latest release, Elsewhereness, came out on NMC in November 2018.
In 2008 he was awarded the British Composer Award in the chamber music category for Folk Music, written for the Smith Quartet, whilst in 2016 he received the British Composer Award in the Jazz category for Karembeu’s Guide to the Complete Defensive Midfielder, a commission from Emulsion Sinfonietta. In 2016 he received an award from the PRS Foundation’s Composers’ Fund to support the composition of Elsewhereness for symphony orchestra, a piece that opened Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s new Bradshaw Concert Hall in March 2018.
Since 2005 he has been Head of Composition at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
His music is published by Composers Edition and Chester Music.
“This is an essential purchase: Cutler may not make contemporary music loveable again, but he does make it unignorable and that is what really matters.”– Gramophone Magazine, September 2008