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People  •  Music  •  Part-Time Lecturer

Joseph Sowa

A composer, scholar, and teacher, Joseph Sowa embraces diverse influences — including cartooning, gestalt theory, linguistics, and pop culture — to create music that revels in intricate textures and vivid colors. Recent performances include premieres played by the Ludovico Ensemble, Collage New Music, Ensemble Dal Niente, and a consortium of English Horn players including Carolyn Hove, principal English Horn of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. His piece Motion Lines is scheduled for release by the PRISM Quartet on their album Surfaces and Essences.

He received his PhD in music composition and theory from Brandeis University. His dissertation paper examined the transformation of motive, tempo, and the symphonic genre in Thomas Adès’s Tevot, contextualizing it with Heraclitian philosophy and Sibelius’s Seventh Symphony. Other research interests include theories of musical analysis, composition pedagogy, and film music. He co-designed and co-taught the class “Star Wars: How Long Ago? How Far Away?” at Tufts’ Ex-College and dreams of writing a piece for tuba ensemble.




  • PhD, Music Composition and Theory, Brandeis University, 2019
  • MM, Music Composition, Brigham Young University, 2012
  • BM, Music Composition, Brigham Young University, 2012