About Joshua Fishbein



As a form of communication, music has the potential to express what words cannot, and Fishbein understands that for a young person struggling to find her voice in America today, composition has the potential to strike a meaningful chord precisely because it gives the composer a way to speak to the individual listener directly, but can give a myriad avenues for interpretation. "In its purest form, music is the beginning of discourse. It is inherently apolitical, and it doesn't take a stance on any subject. Its beauty can speak for itself through its own story."

Fishbein’s role in the classroom is to teach young people who loved listening to music or enjoyed playing in an ensemble in high school to reach a new level of music understanding and appreciation. "Music at the college level is about filling in the gaps in what should've been taught in high schools in the perfect world," Fishbein says. "It's about honing the craft, being able to write down what a person hears, sing at sight,and analyze a performance." Fishbein views the undergraduate music education as a vehicle to "get as much out of school while you're in school," which includes building skills that are useful in today's economy, including "interpersonal skills, written communication, and sheer grit." Most importantly, music education gives the skills a young person needs to express what is inherently beautiful in every individual.

Dr. Fishbein is an adjunct professor of music theory at The Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University (Peabody at Homewood program), the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Towson University. Dr. Fishbein has also had the esteemed privilege of being a(n):



Dr. Fishbein composes both vocal and instrumental music. He is an accomplished singer and pianist, and has won awards for his music in the following competitions:

The American Prize, the American Choral Directors Association’s Raymond W. Brock Memorial Student Composition ContestBMI’s 60th Annual Student Composer Awards, the Belvedere Chamber Music Festival Composition Competition, the Boston Metro Opera’s International Composers’ Competition, the Cantate Chamber Singers’ Ninth Young Composers’ Contest, the Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble’s Emerging Composers Competition, the Chorus Austin’s Inaugural Young Composers CompetitionThe Esoterics’ POLYPHONOS Competition, the Guild of Temple Musicians’ Young Composer’s Award, theHollywood Master Chorale’s “Voices of LA” Project, the National Lutheran Choir’s 25th Anniversary Choral Composition Competition, and WomenSing’s Youth Inspiring Youth Competition

Dr. Fishbein has placed as a finalist in several other competitions, including the EAMA Prize, the NACUSA Young Composers’ Competition, the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers’ Choral Composition Competition, and the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus Competition for Young Composers. Additionally, his Hebrew vocal music has been recognized with its inclusion in the following:

Shalshelet’s International Festival of New Jewish Liturgical Music, the Max Helfman Institute for New Jewish Music, and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society’s Student Composer Project.

Choral Conductor, Ensemble Leader, and Singer

An experienced choral conductor, ensemble leader, and singer, Dr. Fishbein served as Managing Director of the UCLA Early Music Ensemble, Assistant Conductor to David Conte of the San Francisco Conservatory Chorus, and Interim Music Director of the Schola Adventus of San Francisco. Currently, he directs Kol Rinah, a Jewish a cappella choir based in Baltimore, Maryland. He has sung baritone professionally with notable chamber choirs, such as Volti, the Artists’ Vocal Ensemble, Grace Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys, and the choirs of Washington National Cathedral, among many other Jewish and Christian liturgical ensembles.


Dr. Fishbein earned a Ph.D. in Music from UCLA (2010 – 2014). He completed his Master’s degree in Music Composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (2007 – 2009), with additional graduate studies at the University of Maryland (2006 – 2007). While completing his Master of Music, Fishbein won first prize in the San Francisco Conservatory Artsong Competition. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music (Composition) from Carnegie Mellon University (2002 – 2006), where he won the Harry G. Archer Prize in orchestral composition. Fishbein has participated in summer programs offered by the Lehigh University/ACDA Choral Composers Forum (2010) and the European American Musical Alliance (2008). A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Fishbein studied piano performance and music theory at The Peabody Preparatory (1998 – 2002), where he won three awards of achievement in theory.

Previous Teachers

Dr. Fishbein’s composition teachers include Roger BourlandPaul ChiharaDavid ConteRichard DanielpourNancy GalbraithIan KrouseDavid Lefkowitz, and Lawrence Moss. He has studied in masterclasses, workshops, summer programs, and privately with John Adams, Robert Beaser, Libby Larsen, Philip Lasser, Stephen Paulus, Steven Sametz, Conrad Susa, and Chen Yi. Fishbein has choral compositions published by E.C. Schirmer Music CompanyTranscontinental Music Publications, and Yelton Rhodes Music. Other, unpublished scores are available directly from the composer.