Joel Hoffman (composer)

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Joel Hoffman (born 1953 in Vancouver) is a Canadian/American composer of contemporary classical music and pianist living in New York, New York. Hoffman's music draws much of its richness and variety from such diverse sources as Eastern European folk musics, Chinese traditional music and American bebop, yet these sources seem to be seamlessly woven into a unique musical language that is pervaded by a sense of lyricism and rhythmic vitality.


Hoffman earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Wales and a masters and doctorate from the Juilliard School. His teachers included Elliott Carter, Milton Babbitt, Vincent Persichetti, Alun Hoddinott, Arnold Whittall and Easley Blackwood.

For 36 years, he was a professor of composition at the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music and the founder/director of the Music X festival of new music (1996-2011) which was held for the first thirteen years in Cincinnati and for the last three years at the Hindemith Music Centre in Blonay, Switzerland. He was president of Chamber Music Cincinnati (2008-2011), and has directed an annual summer course for composer/performers at the UPBEAT International Music School in Milna, Croatia since 2004 [1]

He has been the recipient of many honors from organizations such as the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Columbia University, BMI, ASCAP, and the American Music Center. Hoffman is a 2017 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellow.

Hoffman's music is published by Onibatan Music, his own publishing house Joel Hoffman official website, RAI Com, ECS Publishing (EC Schirmer), G. Schirmer and Vanderbilt Music Company (Lyra Music Co.).


This is a list of compositions by Joel Hoffman sorted by genre, date of composition, title, and scoring.

Genre Date Title Scoring
Orchestra 2009 ...repercussions... chamber orchestra
Orchestra 2003 to listen, to hear full orchestra
Orchestra 2001 The Smile full orchestra
Orchestra 1997 Millennium Dances full orchestra
Orchestra 1995 ChiaSso full orchestra
Orchestra 1994 Music for Chamber Orchestra chamber orchestra
Orchestra 1992 Music in Blue and Green full orchestra
Orchestra 1985 Between Ten full orchestra
Orchestra 1980 Chamber Symphony chamber orchestra
Conducted (non-orchestra) 2016 The Dizi in my Life

(alternate version)

dizi solo, string orchestra
Conducted (non-orchestra) 2013 The Dizi in my Life dizi solo, dizi orchestra, 2 violencello
Conducted (non-orchestra) 2012 "Party Piece"

(for John Cage's 100th birthday)

oboe, bassoon, trumpet, trombone

marimba, vibraphone, xylophone

accordion, piano

violin, viola, violoncello

Conducted (non-orchestra) 2010 Carnivalfinale piccolo, clarinet, glockenspiel, xylophone

2 pianos, 2 violins, viola, violoncello, contrabass

Conducted (non-orchestra) 2004 The Old Machine at Sovereign Hill intermediate level string orchestra
Conducted (non-orchestra) 2003 Brave Old Mordechai clarinet, cimbalom, accordion

voice, string orchestra

Conducted (non-orchestra) 1996 L' Chaim Chantata 12-part ensemble
Conducted (non-orchestra) 1990 Reyzele: a Portrait flute, clarinet, percussion,

2 violins, viola, violoncello, contrabass

Conducted (non-orchestra) 1990 Crossing Points 20 solo strings
Conducted (non-orchestra) 1978 Music from Chartres 2 trumpets, 4 horns, 3 trombones, tuba
Chamber 2017 Bitter Lemon Suite clarinet, violoncello
Chamber 2017 Xiang He Ge 相和歌 xiao, guitar
Chamber 2017 ei, jauga jauga clarinet, violoncello, piano
Chamber 2017 Nautilus 鹦鹉螺 sheng, vibraphone, guzheng
Chamber 2016 sizzle 丝竹 (alternate version) violin, violoncello, piano, 2 marimbas
Chamber 2016 Beijing Express piano four-hands
Chamber 2016 Riffs on a Great Life violoncello, piano
Chamber 2015 of Deborah, for Deborah violin, viola, violoncello, harp
Chamber 2015 Huan Song Redux dizi, flute
Chamber 2014 Music in Five Parts flute, viola, harp
Chamber 2013 Osibova Blue clarinet, 2 violins, viola, violoncello
Chamber 2012 another time string quartet
Chamber 2012 Music in Yellow and Green flute, violin, violoncello, piano
Chamber 2011 Camino Azul string quartet
Chamber 2011 five bedtime stories clarinet, guzheng
Chamber 2011 Piano Trio 4 violin, violoncello, piano
Chamber 2010 ...the first time and the last version for 10 violoncello
Chamber 2010 Self-Portrait with Orlando 3 flutes
Chamber 2010 Three for Five violoncello, string quartet
Chamber 2009 ...the first time and the last version for 4 violoncello
Chamber 2009 Three Paths violoncello, piano
Chamber 2007 passo passo string quartet, harpsichord
Chamber 2006 6-8-2-4-5-8 flute, clarinet, violin, violoncello

piano, marimba

Chamber 2006 Arrivi string quartet
Chamber 2006 Karptet violin, viola, violoncello, 2 pianos
Chamber 2006 Three Oranges violin, marimba
Chamber 2006 Three Snapshots flute, violoncello
Chamber 2005 Blue and Yellow flute, piano
Chamber 2005 String Quartet no. 3 string quartet
Chamber 2004 Piano Trio 3 on C# violin, violoncello, piano
Chamber 2003 Piano Trio 2: Lost Traces violin, violoncello, piano
Chamber 2003 Coast to Coast percussion, mandolin/banjo, violin
Chamber 2003 Portogruaro Quartet 2 pianos, 2 percussion
Chamber 2001 Self-Portrait with JS string trio
Chamber 2001 Gebirtig Speaks clarinet, violin, viola, violoncello, piano
Chamber 1996 Stone Soup narrator, violin
Chamber 1996 Portogruaro Sextet clarinet, horn, violin, viola, violoncello, piano
Chamber 1996 The Music within the Words, Part 1 flute, oboe, violoncello, piano
Chamber 1996 The Music within the Words, Part 1 alternate version flute, clarinet, bassoon,

horn, piano

Chamber 1996 The Music within the Words, Part 2 viola, violoncello, harp, piano
Chamber 1995 L' Immensita dell' Attimo flute, piano
Chamber 1993 String Quartet no. 2 string quartet
Chamber 1992 Metasmo percussion trio
Chamber 1991 Cubist Blues violin, violoncello, piano
Chamber 1988 26 x 3 for 3 ( and E.C. at 80 ) percussion trio
Chamber 1988 Fantasia Fiorentina violin, piano
Chamber 1987 Ricordanza violoncello, piano
Chamber 1987 Hancock Trio oboe, horn, piano
Chamber 1984 Music for Two Oboes 2 oboes
Chamber 1984 Duo for Viola and Piano viola, piano
Chamber 1983 Five Pieces for Two Pianos 2 pianos
Chamber 1982 Music for Trumpets and Strings 2 trumpets, string quartet
Chamber 1982 Sonata for Cello and Piano violoncello, piano
Chamber 1981 Nirvana, the Waterfall soprano, violoncello, piano
Chamber 1981 Lyric Variations 6 trombones
Chamber 1980 September Music contrabass, harp
Chamber 1980 Suite oboe, bassoon, violoncello, contrabass, percussion
Chamber 1980 Three Bagatelles oboe, bassoon, piano
Chamber 1980 Divertimento string quartet, harp, piano
Chamber 1977 Horn Concerto horn, clarinet, violin, violoncello, piano
Chamber 1977 Variations for Four Flutes 4 flutes
Chamber 1977 Bagatelles for harp and piano harp, piano
Chamber 1975 Nocturne violin, piano
Chamber 1975 Variations violin, violoncello, harp
Concerto 2014 sizzle 丝竹 violin, violoncello, dizi orchestra, 2 yunluo
Concerto 2008 Piano Concerto piano, orchestra
Concerto 2007 The Forty Steps oud, violoncello, orchestra
Concerto 1998 Self-Portrait with Gebirtig violoncello, orchestra
Concerto 1994 Self-Portrait with Mozart violin, piano, orchestra
Concerto 1991 reconstruction of Mozart's Concerto

for Violin, Piano and Orchestra, 1st Movement

violin, piano, orchestra
Concerto 1986 Violin Concerto violin, orchestra
Concerto 1984 Double Concerto viola, violoncello, orchestra
Concerto 1978 Triple Concerto violin, viola, violoncello, orchestra
Solo 2017 Cat Tales intermediate piano
Solo 2016 AS 8.7.2 piano
Solo 2014 Lamipìfona violoncello
Solo 2013 Two Hands and Thirty-four thousand Feet piano
Solo 2012 Amethyst Variations piano
Solo 2011 un petit endroit très profond à l'intérieur de Dante piano
Solo 2010 nine pieces for solo piano piano
Solo 2009 départs viola
Solo 2009 flutterby clarinet
Solo 2007 Krakow Variations version for solo violin
Solo 2007 unaccompanied minor violoncello
Solo 2007 square one violin
Solo 2007 unaccompanied minor violoncello
Solo 2004 at what price? piano
Solo 2004 For Bill piano
Solo 2001 Round Midnight Variation piano
Solo 1999 Krakow Variations viola
Solo 1991 each for himself? piano
Solo 1990 Partenze violin
Solo 1986 Hands Down piano
Solo 1982 Sonata for Harp harp
Solo 1978 Concert-Study flute
Solo 1978 Concert-Study piano
Solo 1977 Abbassare viola
Solo 1977 Concert-Study violoncello
Solo 1975 Fantasy Pieces piano
Vocal 2005 Sonnet 22 3-part men's chorus, 2 harps
Vocal 1995 L' lmmensita dell' Attimo mezzo-soprano, piano
Vocal 1987 Sendup, Countdown SATB chorus + optional piano
Vocal 1974 Three Englynion SSATB
Theater 2002 The Memory Game opera in three acts


Three Paths. Albany Records.


  • Three Paths
  • Nine pieces for solo piano
  • ...the first time and the last

Self Portrait. Albany Records.


  • Sonata for Cello and Piano
  • unaccompanied minor
  • Self-Portrait with Gebirtig
  • Karpet

Piano Trios. Albany Records.


  • Piano Trio No.1: Cubist Blues
  • Piano Trio No.2: Lost Traces
  • Piano Trio on C-Sharp

Cubist Blues. Gasparo Records.


  • Piano Trio No.1: Cubist Blues
  • String Quartet no. 2
  • Fantasia Fiorentina
  • Sonata for Cello and Piano

Chinese Bamboo Flute Orchestra. China Record Corporation.

Includes Joel Hoffman: The Diz in my life

Bravo Orkester. Zalozba Kaset in Plosc.

Includes Joel Hoffman: Self-Portrait with Gebirtig

The American Experience. Milken Archive of Jewish Music.

Includes Joel Hoffman: Self-Portrait of Gebirtig

American Piano. Gasparo Records.

Includes Joel Hoffman: Fantasy Pieces

Music by Hale Smith, Sheila Silver, Joel Hoffman. CRI Recordings.

Includes Joel Hoffman: Duo for Viola and Piano

Soliloquy. Koch International.

Includes Joel Hoffman: Partenze

Premiere Chamber Works. Centaur Records.

Includes Joel Hoffman: Music for Two Oboes

Americans!. Stradivarius.

Includes Joel Hoffman: Each for Himself?

America. VDM Records.

Includes Blues and Yellow

Tum-Balalayke. EMA Records.

CD of traditional Jewish Songs; Joel Hoffman, piano and arranger


External links[edit]