Featured Artist: Joseph N. Rubinstein


Joseph N. Rubinstein, Composer

Joseph N. Rubinstein was born in Cleveland, OH, and spent his childhood there and in Newport News, VA. He currently lives in New York City.  Joseph’s music is often concerned with dramatic narrative. He is particularly interested in creating strong musical characterizations and striking musical images. His music has been presented by organizations and individuals including Fort Worth Opera Festival, The Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater, Triad: The Boston Choral Collective, American Opera Projects, The Holy Cross Chamber Singers, The Secret Opera, bass-baritone Matthew Burns at the Spoleto Festival USA, Boston Metro Opera, C4, organist Ben Sheen, and the Young New Yorker’s Chorus.  Upcoming and recent performances include the premiere of a new art song with the Cheah-Chan Duo, and a workshop performance of a new choral work as part of the Pacific Chorale’s 2019 “Choral Sketches” program. Joseph and librettist Jason Kim are the recipients of a 2017 Opera Genesis from American Opera Projects and The Hermitage Artist Colony for further developmental work on their opera “Legendary.” Select choral works by Joseph are available through See-A-Dot music publishing, and his 2009 choral piece “How She Went to Ireland” has been recorded by the C4 Ensemble on 4Tay Records.  He studied music at Columbia University (BA) and The Juilliard School (MM). He is an alumnus of the New Dramatists Composer-Librettist Studio and American Opera Projects’ Composers and the Voice program. 

“Habitat: Home – NYC” partner: Melanie Ramos, choreographer / dancer

Why you’re excited to participate in “Habitat: Home – NYC”: I love collaborating and meeting new people!  Most of my collaborations are with writers and singers, so I’m especially excited to collaborate with a choreographer – this is new for me!

What you’re currently exploring for your “Habitat: Home – NYC” piece: I’m interested in doing something that deals with the massive challenges of climate change.  I’m disturbed by what is happening, and the risks posed both to ourselves and to our beautiful and precious planet.  I feel a personal sense of urgency to express something about this issue in my piece for Habitat: Home. 

Other projects/performances you’re currently involved in: I recently completed the score to my opera “Legendary”, which is in development with American Opera Projects in Brooklyn.  The piece is set in the 1980s drag ball world, and is based on a true crime story involving the drag queen Dorian Corey. I’m also writing some art songs with Melia Tien, another participant in “Habitat Home”, and participating in a workshop in the fall with the Pacific Chorale.

Connect with Joe: www.josephnrubinstein.com