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About

Joy Son

Composer/Orchestrator/Arranger

Joy’s first composition came about after a carousel ride at an amusement park. The piece was a simple waltz for a solo piano reflecting the playful moment experienced by the nine-year-old. But it was the Vienna Philharmonic’s live performance of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 Pathétique that changed her life at age of 11. Joy immediately began her formal training and then continued on to study classical music composition at Sunhwa Arts Schools and Ewha Womans University (B.M. in Composition). At the University, Joy broadened her musical scope and became attracted to opera and musical theater. In 2001, she relocated from Seoul to New York City to attend NYU Steinhardt for her M.A. in Composition and BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, a Tony-honored theatre writing program. In 2005, she earned her M.F.A. in Musical Theatre Writing at NYU Tisch on scholarship.

Joy uses motifs as a tool for story-telling; Rather than fitting them into a definitive box, she skillfully varies her themes in various textures, seamlessly weaves them, and fluidly takes listeners on an emotional journey. She often writes programmic pieces and applies progressive tonality along with other traditional techniques in order to support the dramatic arch on her musical palette. With a strength in melody-writing combined with a colorful harmonic language, her music naturally sings whether it's vocal or instrumental.

Her music has been inspired by different composers from different eras and genres. Joy grew up watching classic musical films and listening to her Korean parents singing American Oldies. Her influencers include Shin Dong Soo, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Rodgers, Lowe, Bernstein, Sondheim, Yeston, Hamlisch, Menken, Mancini, Morricone, Sakamoto, Hisaishi, Legrand, Gagnon, Rutter, Jenkins, Joel, and some of the best 90's K-Pop music. Deeply rooted in classical music with the versatility of crossing over various styles, her writing voice is lyrical and delicate, yet distinctive in whichever genre she tackles. 

Awards: Winner of 2021 Raise Your Voice Competition; 2018 & 2019 Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist; 2017 York Theatre NEO Fellow; 2015 Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award semi-finalist; Winner of 2014 IMEA Awards (Best Original Score); Winner of 2014 American Harmony Prize; Winner of 2013 Arts Council Korea National Grant; Winner of 2006 Shelley Pinz Prize; Winner of 2007 Jerry Harrington Musical Theatre Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Musical Theatre (BMI Foundation)

Affiliation: Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)

For professional inquiries: joy@composedbyjoyson.com