Joshua Cerdenia (b. 1989) is a Philippine-born composer of chamber, orchestral, and vocal music currently based in New York City.
Grounded in the classical tradition, he works in a variety of styles and covers a diverse range of expressive terrain, 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). An avid lover of stories, he focuses on music with a clear emotional direction, often through forms and narratives derived from both musical and non-musical sources. He counts among his recent sources of inspiration Ancient Rome, Japanese death haiku, and the mythology of his native Philippines.
Cerdenia’s orchestral work Magayon, inspired by the origin myth of Mayon Volcano, was a recent winner of The Juilliard School’s annual orchestral composition competition, resulting in a premiere with the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. As part of the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, the same work was later featured in the Minnesota Orchestra’s Future Classics concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis and broadcast on Classical MPR.
Recent and past collabators of note hail from across East and Southeast Asia and the United States, including the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble TIMF (South Korea), Ensemble Gô (Singapore), the Asian Contemporary Ensemble (Singapore), the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory New Music Ensemble (Singapore), the Lunar Ensemble (Baltimore, MD), and the New Juillard Ensemble (New York City).
Cerdenia is a recent graduate of The Juilliard School’s Master of Music program, where he studied with Christopher Rouse. Previously, he attended the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at the National University of Singapore and the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, studying with Ho Chee Kong and Kevin Puts. He is a publishing member of ASCAP. In addition to composing, he is a sporadic performer, having played the piano on various occasions in different countries, Philippine kulintang in Singapore, gamelan in the mountains of Bali, and the ukulele in Central Park on weekends.
In the Press
• 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