Joseph Brent graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 1999 with a focus on contemporary music. He has performed with chamber ensembles including the International Contemporary Ensemble, Argento New Music Project, nunc, Speculum Musicae, Fireworks Music, Art of Élan, Tres Americas, and counter)induction. His symphonic performances have included engagements with the Boston, Chicago, New World, American, and New Jersey symphonies as well as New York City Ballet and City Opera. He makes his San Francisco Symphony debut with these performances. Mr. Brent made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in 2001 and he has given recitals and clinics in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. He has lectured on contemporary music at New York's Museum of Modern Art and was selected, with harpist Bridget Kibbey, to participate in the Weill Music Institute's Carnegie Hall Musical Connections program.
Mr. Brent has also maintained an active career in popular and improvised music and he has performed and/or recorded with Regina Spektor, Woody Allen, Jewel, Stephane Grappelli, Alice and Ravi Coltrane, Tommy Tune, and Sam Moore, among others. He has been featured in Broadway and off-Broadway pit orchestras for shows including Spring Awakening, Everyday Rapture, Big River, and Urban Cowboy. In 2007 Mr. Brent released his debut album, Point of Departure, featuring duets with Bridget Kibbey. In 2010, he recorded the complete mandolin works of David Loeb for Vienna Modern Masters, and this year will release a recording of arrangements of John Dowland’s music with fellow mandolinist Alon Sariel. In 2010 he founded the Joe Brent Quartet, which performs his own compositions and arrangements.
Joseph Brent is on the faculty of Mannes College the New School for Music, the first mandolin instructor to hold a faculty position with a major American conservatory. In 2007, he published two books of mandolin pedagogy, Scales and Arpeggios for the Mandolin and Orchestral and Chamber Excerpts for Mandolin. Mr. Brent plays eight- and ten-string mandolins which were custom-made for him by Brian Dean.