Joseph Phibbs studied at The Purcell School, King's College London, and Cornell University, and his teachers have included Param Vir, Sir Harrison Birtwistle. and Steven Stucky. His works have been performed by leading ensembles in the UK and beyond including the London Sinfonietta, Britten Sinfonia, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra (Washington). Much of his output has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and he has received commissions from the Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, and Bath festivals. He has also written for the theatre, scoring for a number of productions at the Wolsey Theatre (Ipswich), Sadlers Wells, Setagaya Theatre (Tokyo), and The Globe.
Commissions for 2009 include a clarinet concerto for Sarah Williamson and the Orchestra of the Swan, a work for the English Piano Trio’s 20th Anniversary Concert, a development commission for a chamber opera (Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre), and a setting of Psalm 98 for choir and orchestra. A work combining school choirs with the Britten-Pears Chamber Choir has been commissioned for performance at Snape Maltings, and he will be Composer-in- Residence at the Presteigne Festival in 2011, for which he is writing a new work for strings. Plans are currently underway to write a percussion concerto for Dame Evelyn Glennie for 2011-12, as well as a songcycle for James Bowman and Andrew Plant.
Since 2003 Phibbs has combined his composing career with the editing and promoting of Britten's music, and he is a director of the Britten Estate.
His works are published by Faber Music, Oxford University Press, and BMIC (British Music Information Centre), and he is represented by David Wordsworth.