Joseph Ness is the composer, orchestrator, and arranger of hundreds of musical compositions spanning both the liturgical and concert genres. He has been commissioned by major musical figures such as Lukas Foss and Fred Sherry.
Joseph Ness holds a Master degree in Music & Composition from Manhattan School of Music, NY, and a Masters degree in Sacred Music from the College of Jewish Music of the Jewish Theological Seminary, NY.
Throughout his illustrious career he has been commissioned by several famous orchestras and ensembles,including the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, Manchester Orchestra (England), American Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir, The Group for Contemporary Music, and the Washington Festival Orchestra.
As conductor, Ness has led choral-orchestral masterpieces such as “The German Requiem” (Brahms), “The Symphony of Psalms” (Stravinsky), “Choral Fantasy” (Beethoven), and “Elijah” (Mendelssohn), in addition to a wide variety of orchestral and chamber instrumental music.
As composer, Joseph Ness has composed Jacob’s Ladder, The Akedah (2005), and “Sarah and Hagar” (premiered at the University of Hartford in 2006).
In 2008, he arranged and conducted “Shining Through Broken Glass: An Ecumenical Concert Of Memory and Hope – 70 Years After Kristallnacht.” This program took place in Providence, Rhode Island, and featured the Rhode Island Philharmonic, an ecumenical 200-voice adult and youth choir, soloists and narration by Leonard Nemoy.
Joseph Ness has officiated as the chief cantor at Beth El Temple in West Hartford, Connecticut, for the last 28 years. The orchestra and choir under his direction have gained national recognition. In 2010, Cantor Ness appeared in the national film, “100 Voices- A Journey Home.” This documentary, based on an historic mission to Poland in 2009 by members of the Cantors Assembly, chronicles a performance by the National Polish Opera Orchestra and Choirs and cantorial colleagues of pre-Holocaust music arranged and conducted by Cantor Ness.