A versatile musician and educator, Joseph Sieber passionately strives to overcome boundaries and conventions in the arts and their reception, providing unique experiences for the most diverse audiences. As founder and artistic director of the Central Switzerland Youth Orchestra ZJSO as well as the highly acclaimed music theater project “Verona 3000”, he has brought together hundreds of young artists and cultural workers from all over Switzerland and performed for thousands of audiences at home and abroad every year.
His enthusiasm and advocacy for different musical styles and art forms has led to extraordinary artistic collaborations and cross-border projects that have won various awards and received national and European recognition. As a pianist, conductor, composer, and choral singer, Joseph’s musical experience ranges from Renaissance choral music to Broadway musicals, from Baroque continuo playing as a harpsichordist to 20th century piano concertos as a soloist, from core classical repertoire to jazz, and from chamber music to pop band.
His initial studies in piano (Konstantin Lifschitz), composition (Dieter Ammann) and music theory were accompanied by private lessons in conducting, which eventually led to a coveted place in the two-year conducting program at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (UK). These experiences brought him together with a wide variety of top ensembles in the symphonic, new music, ballet, and opera genres. In June 2022, he conducted his final recital with the BBC Philharmonic, graduating with high distinction. Eager to learn and open to the world, he is now based in the United States, where works as assistant conductor and studies for a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Orchestra and Opera Conducting (Jeffery Meyer) at Arizona State University. In summer 2023, he will be a conducting fellow at the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland.
Always drawn to the performing arts and naturally very curious and eager to learn, Joseph Sieber has been active in a wide variety of disciplines and has built a uniquely versatile profile in his teenage years. As an actor, he has appeared in productions of the Lucerne Theater as well as in television series of the Swiss National TV. As a director, he has led numerous youth productions and assisted major productions at the Theater Basel. As a pianist, he has performed with pop bands in front of tens of thousands of people and recorded for top chart albums, as well as playing classical piano concertos with orchestra, conducting from the keyboard and winning first and special prizes at the Swiss Youth Music Competition.
After working as a stage performer, director, librettist and composer in his high school’s music theater company, he eventually moved into the orchestra pit and took over the overall musical and artistic direction of the successful troupe. Under his leadership, the company experienced its greatest expansion, and the ambitious projects recorded the highest audience numbers to date and won major funding awards. After graduating from high school, there remained a great desire on the part of the orchestra musicians and Joseph to continue making music together, whereupon he founded the Central Switzerland Youth Orchestra.
In 2012, Joseph Sieber gathered a team of young cultural administrators and professional musicians from major Swiss symphony orchestras to provide the region’s multitude of talented and interested young musicians with their first platform for playing symphonic repertoire together. With the goal of inspiring a new, young audience for classical music, we developed new formats in the crossover and educational areas that received positive nationwide response. Collaborations with DJs, rappers, beatboxers, pop and folk bands, dance ensembles, young composers, youth choirs and internationally renowned soloists attracted an engaged and diverse audience from young to old. In the eight years under his direction, the orchestra won several prizes and grew into one of the most versatile and visible youth ensembles in Switzerland.
The nationwide Musical Theater project «Verona 3000»
Graduating from high school and parting from the music theater company there, did not dampen Joseph’s enthusiasm for the potential of this interdisciplinary art form. Already practiced for years in developing stage works and composing music to go with them, he created a three-hour musical theater about the young generation at the beginning of the third millennium. With the intention of forming the most diverse young talents (most of them without previous stage experience) into a uniquely versatile stage ensemble, young people from all over Switzerland were auditioned and given training in all disciplines over a period of two years. In collaboration with the Lucerne Festival and federal cultural funding, and with over 200 young participants from all parts of the country, the large-scale project finally celebrated its premiere in the summer of 2014. After a short time, all performances were sold out to the last seat, the project was profiled several times on national television news and nominated for the European Music Education Prize.
Joseph Sieber’s extensive involvement and experience in the cultural sector has made him a sought-after consultant to a wide range of institutions and artists. In addition to such targeted consultations, he works as a curator of a Lucerne art circle, president of the board of trustees of a new art promotion foundation and on his latest music education project “Simple Symphony”. Thanks to his passion for bringing together diverse cultural practitioners and to his successful networking, im 2019, he was able to initiate a new interdisciplinary cultural center with affordable studios and rehearsal spaces for young artists in Lucerne.
He is the winner of numerous scholarships and his work is supported by generous donors such as the Rolf and Trudy Aebi-Lüthy Foundation.