Joe Cutler's music has been described as “propulsive” (BBC Music Magazine), “alluring” (Scotsman), “neurotic” (Re-Diffusion) and “the best thing to come out of Neasden since Twiggy” (Gramophone).
His music has been performed in over 30 countries and on 6 continents including performances at venues such as Bang-on-a-Can Music Marathon (New York), Gaudeamus Music Week (Amsterdam), Opera City (Tokyo), Musik Monat (Basle). Since the late 1990s he has spent a considerable amount of time in the Netherlands, working with such groups and performers as Orkest de Ereprijs, Orkest de Volharding, Netherlands Wind Ensemble, Harry Sparnaay, Annelie de Man and Tomoko Mukaiyama, whilst in the UK he has worked particularly closely with Darragh Morgan, Mary Dullea, Robin Michael, Sarah Leonard and Noszferatu (an ensemble which he co-directs).
In recent year he has also written a number of orchestral pieces and has worked recently with the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, The Orchestra of the Swan and the RTE National Symphony Orchestra. His has worked both in the concert hall and outside, working with visual artists such as Tom Dale, Jaap Drupsteen and Gary Ward and has written music for the National Theatre, London. Since 2000 he has taught at Birmingham Conservatoire where he is currently Head of Composition.
In June 2008 a portrait CD of his works was released on NMC and was one of Gramophone Magazine's Top 20 Releases of the Year. He also won the 2008 British Composer Award in the chamber music category for Folk Music, commissioned by the Smith Quartet.
“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