has been enthralling audiences in the US and Europe with his silent film music for over thirty years. Born in 1951, he grew up in Rye, NY, and Munich. He studied piano with Kyriena Siloti, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia University, studying composition with William Albright and Jack Beeson. He was the resident film accompanist at the Museum of Modern Art in the late 70’s, and returns there frequently as a guest pianist.
He performs each October at the Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone, Italy, each July at Bologna’s Cinema Ritrovato, and appears regularly at major film festivals including New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Telluride, TriBeCa, and Port Townsend. He is the resident pianist for the Film Society of Lincoln Center, BAM and the Museum of Moving Image, and has appeared at other film repertory house and archives include the Pacific Film Archives’ Asian Film Festival, the Thalia Theater, Symphony Space, Harvard Film Archives, the National Gallery, the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Berlin Filmmuseum, MASS MoCA, and The Film Forum.
He has composed music for screenings of women’s films at the Museum of the Moving Image and Chinese films at the Guggenheim Museum. In 2008 he was commissioned by MoMA and Anthology Film Archives to write an orchestral score for MANHATTA, the first American avant-garde film, by Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand. In 2001 he was commissioned by the Westchester Film Festival to score the earliest existing American feature film, RICHARD III, for chamber ensemble and voice. At the Whitney Museum he premiered his score for SALOME as part of the UNSEEN CINEMA series, for which he also recorded ninety minutes of music for this unique series of programs of avant-garde cinema currently touring museums around the world. Mr. Sosin has lectured on silent film music at the Aspen Institute of Humanities.
For DVD release Sosin has scored numerous films, including NOSFERATU, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, and BLIND HUSBANDS, A MAN THERE WAS, SALLY OF THE SAWDUST, WARNING SHADOWS, 19 avant-garde films for the fall 2005 Kino Video and Image Entertainment releases, a group of Edison films for Kino Video, four Ozu films including A STORY OF FLOATING WEEDS, and De Mille’s KING OF KINGS for Criterion, and a pair of Pickford films for Milestone, plus many shorts by Lloyd, Chase and Arbuckle.
In 2001 he and his wife, actress/singer Joanna Seaton, participated in a colloquium on silent film music at the Berlin Filmmuseum. They performed his score for FOOLISH WIVES with a five-piece band at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, featuring new songs by the couple, and a chamber score for the European premiere of MoMA’s restoration of EAST SIDE WEST SIDE.The couple has performed at the Virginia Film Festival, the National Gallery, Connecticut’s Music Mountain and many college campuses.The couple has also led workshops in silent film scoring for talented high school musicians. Their CD of Broadway love songs, SAIL AWAY, was released in 1999.
On Broadway Mr. Sosin was assistant conductor for THE FIRST and WELCOME TO THE CLUB; he was music director and vocal arranger for the first production of the Mitch Leigh-Lee Adams musical AIN’T BROADWAY GRAND, the American premiere of Cole Porter’s NYMPH ERRANT, and the Folger Theatre premiere of WIND IN THE WILLOWS.
PBS documentaries including THE WEST, and additional orchestrations for the Great Performances Mark Twain series. His arrangements and recordings include “Dance of the Blessed Spirits” for the Naxos label, and two CDs by folk singer Priscilla Herdman. He has recorded an album of original songs, and a twelve-hour background score for the New Testament. Mr. Sosin’s over 1500 pop sheet music arrangements are published by Cherry Lane and Warner Bros. Music.
In 1995-6 the couple toured the US for fourteen months with the national company of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, training over 1000 children. They have taught songwriting workshops all over the country and have written extensively for theater, television, radio, video, the concert hall and for worship. They live in Connecticut with their son Nicholas.
floated into show biz as an Ivory Soap Baby, bobbing in a tub of bubbles with a pink bow in her hair. She modeled toddler clothes for Saks Fifth Avenue, posed in handmade sweaters and perched in handsome baby carriages for magazines and newspapers nationwide. Getting an early lesson in acting, she shed unhappy tears as a “constipated child” for Fletcher’s Castoria. Her family lived in colorful Hell’s Kitchen, within sight of Broadway’s lights, and by the time she appeared in her kindergarten play as the Old Woman in the Shoe, she was truly bound for the footlights. Joanna is a member of Actors Equity and the Screen Actors Guild, and holds a Theatre Arts Degree from Cornell University.
Her acting credits include leading roles in over 80 productions of musicals and plays, in New York and at regional and stock theatres across the country, including the Kennedy Center. Joanna’s Off-Broadway credits include FRANCIS (with Donna Murphy), the American premiere of Cole Porter’s NYMPH ERRANT, the British music hall show GIVE MY REGARDS TO LEICESTER SQUARE at The Village Gate, BOY MEETS BOY at the Actors Playhouse, and THE LITTLE PRINCE at the John Houseman Theatre. Among her Off-off Broadway shows are THE JACK THE RIPPER REVUE at Manhattan Punchline, THE BLITZSTEIN PROJECT for Soho Rep, and EAST OF KANSAS at the Harold Clurman Theatre, where she met her husband, Donald Sosin.
Her favorite regional and stock credits are Anne in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (with Benay Venuta) and Carrie in CAROUSEL (with David Canary) at the Brunswick Music Theatre, and the cockney Maid in DRACULA (with John Philip Law) at Burt Reynolds’ Jupiter Theatre. Joanna also played leading roles in productions of OKLAHOMA, SHENANDOAH, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, GODSPELL, THE ODD COUPLE, WAIT UNTIL DARK, and many other shows, including a lavish MIKADO at the World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee.
In 1995-96 Joanna and Donald traveled with the Broadway tour of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, starring Sam Harris. They directed over 1000 children in 24 cities, teaching them songs, choreography and acting, and slotting them into the production with the professional actors.
Joanna has twice concertized with jazz great Dick Hyman, at the 92nd Street Y and the Emelin Theater in Mamaroneck, NY. She performed many of the songs he has written for Woody Allen’s films, using squeaky character voices and dialects. As a singer, she has also been heard at Symphony Space’s Wall-to-Wall Richard Rodgers, the St. Regis Hotel, and the Rainbow Room. The New York Times has praised her “silvery soprano.”
Although theatre has been the focus of Joanna’s career, she has also worked in film and television. She created character voices and blood-curdling screams for KOJAK and THE EQUALIZER, and for the film DOGFIGHT. She also spent six unforgettable days at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, New York, appearing as a reporter in A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN. Joanna’s strangest film experience was running again and again through Columbus Circle at 3 A.M., dodging taxis and pretending to be terrified by the roving ghost in GHOSTBUSTERS.
The trio also recorded a novelty single, MEOWY CHRISMOUSE, which received nationwide radio play, was heard on “All Things Considered” and Peter Schickele’s “Schickele Mix,” and was featured in the comedy magazine “Vanity Furr.”
With her husband Donald Sosin, Joanna has performed at the National Arts Club; their popular evening of Gershwin songs, presented with Gershwin biographer Joan Peyser, prompted a return engagement with an evening of Noel Coward songs.