Joseph Houston is a British pianist active in the fields of contemporary and experimental music. Based in Berlin, he performs regularly in festivals and venues across Europe both as a soloist and with other artists.
Joseph aims to curate unique and immersive programmes that combine works from various musical genres, generating a whole that is bigger than the sum of its parts, while involving himself as much as possible in the compositional process of new commissions. He believes music is fundamentally collaborative and is particularly interested in works that challenge the traditional composer-performer-listener triangle; use performance practice as a compositional parameter; and intensely explore the sonic possibilities of the instrument. He works on a project-by-project basis, building programmes that explore these ideas.
Joseph performs with various groups, including the Octandre Ensemble, a London-based group dedicated to performing music written since 1945; the Phonetic Orchestra, a collective of musicians based in Melbourne, Perth, and Berlin exploring extreme duration and the fluid borders between composition and improvisation; as well as in a duo with violinist Sarah Saviet.
Recent highlights include solo performances at Donaueschinger Musiktage 2019, broadcast on SWR; duos with Sarah Saviet (violin) at Radialsystem as part of Sasha Waltz's ZUHÖREN #4; a CD of chamber music by Thomas Simaku with Quatuor Diotima on BIS; and a performance of James Tenney's Bridge for 2 retuned pianos (with Antonis Anissegos, Tomoko Ono, and Thomas Nicholson) at km28 in Berlin. Future projects include a portrait CD of composer Mark Barden, to be released on WERGO; and performances of Feldman's 'Patterns in a Chromatic Field' with Lucy Railton in Berlin, Paris, Copenhagen, and London.
"Formidable focus and unshowy mastery" - The Arts Desk