Joby Talbot was born in London in 1971. He studied composition privately with Brian Elias and at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College before completing a master’s in music composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Simon Bainbridge.
Talbot’s diverse catalogue includes the narrative ballets Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (2011) and The Winter's Tale (2014), both collaborations with choreographer Christopher Wheeldon for The Royal Ballet and National Ballet of Canada that have since entered the repertory of companies worldwide; the choral Path of Miracles (2005), a 60-minute a cappella journey along the Camino de Santiago commissioned by Nigel Short’s Tenebrae and performed regularly by international ensembles; arrangements of songs by Detroit rock duo The White Stripes alongside Talbot's original works for choreographer Wayne McGregor’s unparalleled Chroma (The Royal Ballet, 2006); Worlds, Stars, Systems, Infinity (2012), an additional movement to Holst's The Planets for the Philharmonia Orchestra’s interactive digital installation, Universe of Sound under Esa-Pekka Salonen; Genus Quartet (2013) for Los Angeles' acclaimed Calder Quartet, premiered as part of the Barbican's weekend of new music curated by Nico Muhly; and the hugely popular animated feature Sing (Garth Jennings, 2016) for Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Minions). For the BBC Proms, Talbot has written The Wishing Tree (The King's Singers, 2002); Sneaker Wave (BBC National Orchestra of Wales, 2004); an arrangement of Purcell's Chacony in G Minor (BBC Symphony Orchestra, 2011); and Ink Dark Moon, a concerto for the acclaimed guitarist Miloš Karadaglić (BBC Symphony orchestra, 2018).
Talbot has considerable experience writing for the screen, including classic BBC comedy series The League of Gentlemen and feature films The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Garth Jennings, 2005) and Closed Circuit (John Crowley, 2013); and has been twice commissioned by the British Film Institute, to re-score silent films The Lodger (1999) and The Dying Swan (2002). A new score to Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1932 Vampyr for LA Opera’s Off Grand season at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles was presented on 27 October 2018.
Talbot’s critically acclaimed first opera, Everest, was given its premiere in 2015 by The Dallas Opera. In the same year, he was awarded the prestigious Prix Benois de la Danse for The Winter's Tale. Future works include a Cantata commissioned by Independent Opera for Britten Sinfonia and Britten Sinfonia Voices; a second opera for Dallas; and a third narrative ballet with Christopher Wheeldon.