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Joseph A. Santo holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition from The Catholic University of America where he is presently Assistant Dean for Academics and for Graduate Studies at the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music.  In addition to his administrative duties, he also teaches in the Theory Division of the music school.  The composer has been active in music education for over forty years and a composer throughout his professional career.  He is a member of ASCAP and recipient of ASCAPlus Awards.  He also holds active membership in The College Music Society, The American Music Center, the Society of Composers, Inc., and the National Association for Music Educators. The composer has written in a variety of genres, from solo works to chamber works to large scale compositions, including Vísperas de la Santa Cruz, a concert Vespers for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, using texts in Latin, Spanish, and indigenous Latin American languages.  The concert Vespers received its world premiere on April 3, 2011 in Washington, D.C. and was the recipient of a generous grant from the Composer Assistance Program of the American Music Center. His Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, premiered in 2000, was also the recipient of a generous grant from The American Music Center.  His song cycle for soprano and piano, entitled Rimas sacras, on medieval to 16th century Spanish texts, was premiered in 2003.  His Trois épiphanies, a three-movement work for piano solo, premiered in 2004, was chosen for performance at the 2006 Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of the College Music Society.  Prólogo y Canto for piano trio was performed at Weill Hall of Carnegie Hall, November 2010, as part of a concert series sponsored by the La Gesse Foundation. Though some of his compositional output has been in the twelve-tone serial tradition, he has in recent years found an idiom more suitable to his temperament, without entirely abandoning serialization of certain elements. His most recent works often use centric forces that may or may not employ semi-traditional verticalities. Rhythmic and technical complexities are characteristics of much of the output, providing challenging experiences to performers willing to take them on. Interest in religious tradition has provided the incentive for a number of sacred works.  The composer’s lifelong interest in languages has given the stimulus for music using texts in Latin, Anglo-Saxon, medieval and modern French, Neapolitan, and Spanish, among others. Recent works have been Lux refulget for choir and orchestra, premiered December 2012 by the choruses and orchestra of The Catholic University America; and Život v pravdě (Life in Truth) for narrator and chamber orchestra, a project in collaboration with the Embassy of the Czech Republic to honor President Václav Havel, premiered September 2013 by the Trinity Chamber Orchestra, Washintgon, D.C.

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