Joshua Ballance is currently studying for a DPhil at Christ Church, Oxford, generously supported by the Arts & Humanities Research Council. Prior to this he was at King's College, Cambridge, where he read for his undergraduate degree, achieving a double first, and an MPhil, which was awarded with Distinction. Whilst pursuing these degrees, he was awarded an academic scholarship, and received various prizes and grants for his academic work. Alongside his academic research he conducts and composes.
His interest in conducting began with the student conducting programme of the London Schools' Symphony Orchestra, under Peter Ash, before going on to study with Roland Melia. Whilst at King's, he conducted extensively with King’s College Music Society: notable performances include Strauss's Eine Alpensinfonie, and Elgar's First Symphony. He also won the Cambridge University Symphony Orchestra conducting competition, and was appointed their Senior Conductor. In addition to these ensembles, Joshua directs Mad Song, an ensemble dedicated to 20th & 21st century music. He has worked with orchestras around the country, including as guest conductor for the Hereford Symphony Orchestra, and with the Orion Orchestra and Leicester Symphony Orchestra. He has also received coaching from Toby Purser and James Henshaw, and participated in masterclasses, including with David Robertson, Andrew Gourlay, Michael Seal and Nicholas Cleobury.
Joshua has a particular passion for contemporary music and has studied composition with Dr Sinan Savaskan, Dr Christian Mason, and currently with Julian Anderson. He has also received tuition from Raymond Yiu and Mark Andre, amongst others. He has been commissioned by ensembles including the London Festival for Contemporary Church Music, the Octandre Ensemble and the New London Children’s Choir. He spent a year as a composer with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and has previously attended the Darmstadt International Course for New Music. His music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and performed in many prestigious venues around the UK including Westminster Abbey, the Tate Britain Gallery, and all the major Cambridge chapels, as well as abroad in Iceland and Italy.
Particular highlights of the 2019 season include the premiere of Manuscript Ruined by Water at the Anthony Burgess Foundation, commissioned and performed by the No Dice Collective, and performing Gerhard's Libra with Mad Song in the Purcell Room.