Joel Henry Stein is a versatile composer in Los Angeles who is as comfortable scoring indie horror films and TV nature documentaries as he is collaborating with avant garde chamber ensembles and modern dance companies. Joel has scored soundtracks for Discovery and National Geographic, worked as resident composer at the Tony Award-winning Alley Theatre, and collaborated with various classical ensembles and soloists, film directors, and several modern dance companies in New York, LA, and Houston.
As a composer of contemporary concert music, Joel has received commissions from artists and ensembles such as the Vientos Trio, soprano Julianne Gearhart, David Palmer (Artistic Director of Chamber Amarillo), Andrea Moore (former curator at Da Camera and Diverse Works in Houston, TX), American Festival for the Arts, the Rice University Percussion Ensemble, bassist Nicholas Walker, avant-garde jazz group Rosta, and former President of the Virginia Music Teachers Association, Martha Smith.
Joel has received awards from Meet the Composer and also the Mary Flagler Carey Trust for his dance scores, which have been performed in Japan, Poland, France, and at prestigious American dance venues such as Jacob’s Pillow, Miller Outdoor Theatre, and the 92nd Street Y. In 1990, Joel won First Prize in the National Association of Music Teachers’ composition festival.
His original musical, ELECTION DAY, sold out nearly every night it ran at off-Broadway’s American Theater of Actors in 2005. Joel is currently finishing a rock opera, called THE DEMISE, which previewed in 2012 at On the Rox in West Hollywood and was produced at The New York Musical Festival in 2017.
From 1996-1998, Joel worked as piano and percussion accompanist at the Martha Graham School for Contemporary Dance and Alvin Ailey Dance Center in New York City. From 1999-2009, he taught composition, theory, music history, and songwriting at the American Festival for the Arts in Houston. Most recently, Joel taught musicianship, theory, and music technology at UCLA from 2007-2012, and joined the faculty at the Colburn School in Los Angeles in 2012 as an instructor in songwriting and in music appreciation.
Joel studied composition at UCLA (PhD 2012), Freie Universität Berlin, and Rice University (B.Music 1995). His teachers include Samuel Adler, Paul Chihara, Bruce Broughton, Samuel Jones, Ellsworth Milburn, David Lefkowitz, Ian Krouse, Roger Bourland, and Paul Cooper.