Joshua Cerdenia is an internationally distinguished composer and performer who hails from the Philippine island of Luzon. A recent alumnus of The Juilliard School, he is currently based in New York City.
A classically trained composer, Joshua Cerdenia is known for music that ranges wildly from “graceful melancholy” (Star Tribune), to works that unfold “like the nascent radiance of a rising sun” (The Straits Times), as well as music that “pretty much explodes at the end” (The New York Times). He has worked with leading orchestras in the US and abroad, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Juilliard Orchestra, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and the Manila Symphony Orchestra. His chamber and vocal works have been performed by numerous ensembles from across East and Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States: Ensemble TIMF, the Asian Contemporary Ensemble, Duo Amrein/Henneberger, the Lunar Ensemble, the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Gô, and the New Juilliard Ensemble, among others.
Joshua began his music career in the Philippines at the age of 12, when he was employed as an accompanist with ABS-CBN’s Center for Communication Arts. While studying communication at the Ateneo de Manila University, he became a regular fixture in the college musical theater scene as a pianist and band leader in numerous productions, until receiving a full scholarship to begin his composition studies at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore. He remains active as a collaborative pianist, and has performed in venues such as the Philam Life Auditorium in Manila, the Esplanade and University Cultural Centre in Singapore, and the Philippine Center in New York, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, the Steinway Asia Pacific headquarters in Shanghai, and Sidney Harman Hall and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Joshua serves as an administrator for both the Canales Project, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to using music for positive social change, and TCP Ventures, which has co-presented the annual CultureSummit in Abu Dhabi. He was Artist-in-Residence with the Canales Project for the 2017–18 Season, and remains an active musical collaborator to Founder/CEO Carla Canales, with new projects forthcoming in 2018–19.
Joshua has been the recipient of numerous scholarships to study with award-winning composers Christopher Rouse, Kevin Puts, and Ho Chee Kong at The Juilliard School, the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at the National University of Singapore. He is a publishing member of ASCAP.
In addition to all of the above, Joshua is a sporadic performer on other instruments in various situations, having played—among others—Philippine kulintang music at numerous venues in Singapore, various kinds of gamelan in the mountains of Bali, the chromatic harmonica in a classroom rendition of Terry Riley’s In C, the mountain dulcimer in the privacy of his bedroom, and the ukulele at a Manhattan bar that he has since forgotten. Currently he resides in the borough of Brooklyn, where his latest preoccupation is songwriting. He is a first-year member of the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.
In the Press
• Classical Source, December 10, 2017: Detroit Symphony Orchestra – Leonard Slatkin conducts Feuertrunken & Mahler 9
• Performance, Vol. XXVI, Fall 2017: New Music, New Voices
• 98.7 DZFE The Master’s Touch, Nov 4, 2017: Maestro Filipino – Listen Again!
• The New York Times, Apr 26, 2016: Color and Contrasts from the New Juilliard Ensemble
• The Juilliard Journal, Apr 2016: The Art of Composing: New Juilliard
• New Music Box, Feb 15, 2016: Composer Advocacy Notebook: A Tale of Three Cities
• Classical Voice America, Feb 9, 2016: Young Composers Hone Their Craft and Hear Results
• Star Tribune, Feb 1, 2016: ‘Future Classics’ Priceless for Young Composers
• Minnesota Orchestra, Jan 19, 2016: Meet a Composer: Joshua Cerdenia
• SoundWordSight, May 10 2015: More April NYC Concert Reviews from Mark Greenfest
• The Juilliard Journal, Apr 2015: Student Composers’ Works
• The Straits Times, Feb 17, 2014 (as Joshua Pangilinan): Scoring on musical potential
• The Straits Times, Feb 11, 2014 (as Joshua Pangilinan): Young composers get a boost
• The Straits Times, Apr 14, 2012 (as Joshua Pangilinan): Korean Ensemble TIMF presents new music with poise