JOSHUA CERDENIA is a composer and performer originally from the Philippines and now based in New York. He 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, appearing in such venues as Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit, and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York. 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 conductor in numerous productions, until receiving a full scholarship to begin his composition studies at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore. He continues to perform as a collaborative pianist, and has appeared in venues such as the Philam Life Auditorium in Manila, the Esplanade and University Cultural Centre in Singapore, the Goethe-Institut in Bangkok, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, the Steinway Asia Pacific headquarters in Shanghai, the Paramount Theatre in Los Angeles, Kalayaan Hall at the Philippine Center in New York, and Sidney Harman Hall and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Joshua has served 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 co-presented the inaugural CultureSummit in Abu Dhabi. He was Artist-in-Residence with the Canales Project for the 2017–18 Season, and continues to perform regularly with Founder/CEO Carla Canales in the US and abroad.
Joshua’s diverse body of work reflects his wide-ranging cultural interests. Just as “diving into [his] ouvre might send you looking for footnotes” (Performance), his musical endeavors traverse the worlds of classical, popular, jazz, and folk music. While living in Singapore, he performed regularly with the Sari-Sari Philippine Kulintang Ensemble, and studied gamelan in Bali with leading teachers in the region. Currently, he resides in the borough of Brooklyn, where his latest preoccupation is songwriting for musical theatre. He is a second-year member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.
Joshua has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and grants to study with preeminent 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 the Press
• Broadway World, July 20, 2019: Photo Flash: First Look at Melisa Tien’s SWELL at Here Arts Center
• National Sawdust Log, July 14, 2019: In Review: SWELL
• 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 Ensemble
• 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
• Republic of the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs, Nov 25, 2013 (as Joshua Pangilinan): Benefit Classical Concert for Typhoon Yolanda Victims Held in Singapore
• The Straits Times, Nov 14, 2013 (as Joshua Pangilinan): Palette of riotous sounds
• The Straits Times, Apr 14, 2012 (as Joshua Pangilinan): Korean Ensemble TIMF presents new music with poise