American pianist Joshua Rupley grew up surrounded by the rugged natural beauty of New Mexico. As a homeschooled child, his education consisted of exploring nature, culture, and science with all his senses. From an early age he dove into diverse interests: poetry, politics, geology, linguistics, physics, music, and whatever else came his way. As a teenager, he founded a club that brought young people to the state capital of Santa Fe to meet politicians and bring their concerns before the state legislature. As an actor and later director, he founded a theater troupe for teenagers, with which he performed classic stage works by Shakespeare, Molière, and Oscar Wilde.
Joshua Rupley received his first musical instruction at the age of 11 and made rapid progress. At 14, he began taking conducting lessons with Gabriel Gordon, and at 15, he had the opportunity to conduct one of his own compositions for symphony orchestra in concert. At 16, he organized his own first piano recital and won his first competition two years later. For the re-founding of the New Mexico Philharmonic, he was invited to perform Franz Liszt’s Totentanz (Dance of the Dead) for piano and orchestra.
At the University of New Mexico, Joshua Rupley was the first fine arts student ever to receive the prestigious Regents Scholarship, the highest scholarship of the university. This enabled him to study piano under Falko Steinbach (Bachelor of Music) and German Language & Literature (Bachelor of Arts) simultaneously there.
He has always shown fascination for language: As a child, he was often busy inventing new languages and writing books in them. As a teenager, he took private Latin lessons. While a college student, he acquired the German language at an accent-free academic level within 6 months and then emigrated to Germany at the age of 20, to the cradle of European classical music.
After moving to Germany, he continued his studies at the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg with Inge Rosar and Silke-Thora Matthies. He attended master classes by Andrzej Jasinski and Markus Schirmer.
Joshua Rupley completed a Master of Music in Piano under Silke-Thora Matthies and a Master of Music in German Lieder Interpretation under Gerold Huber. During the master’s programs, he was awarded the Deutschlandstipendium twice in a row. His song trio with soprano Anna-Lena Müller and mezzo-soprano Lena Elisabeth Vogler was supported by the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation.
He won prizes in various piano competitions, e.g. Jackie McGehee Young Artists Competition (1st prize), Olga Kern International Piano Competition (4th prize) and Euregio International Piano Competition Geilenkirchen (Diploma).
In February 2017, Joshua Rupley was awarded a new Yamaha C3X grand piano on loan for one year by the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe scholarship competition, which he was able to buy afterwards thanks to the generous support of many sponsors. He was also sponsored by the Seiler Pianoforte Company in Kitzingen, Germany. In 2022, he bought a Steinway Model B grand piano.
art & pedagogy
Joshua Rupley has performed in many cities in Central Europe and the USA. He played at the Kissinger Sommer, the Würzburg Mozart Festival, Val Tidone Festival (Italy), Jeuness Musicales Switzerland, Festival for Outlawed Music Schwerin, Germany, and KlangArt Vision Festival for Contemporary Music, where he played Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata Op. 106 in 2023 and premiered the monumental work “Music for Piano” by C. René Hirschfeld.
As a strong advocate of contemporary music, Joshua Rupley collaborates with several contemporary composers and has already given numerous world premieres, both for piano solo and in ensembles. A special project took place for the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in 2013, where he played the Sacre version for two pianos and five world premieres by American composers which commented on the original work. The composers Joshua Rupley has worked with include Joseph Schwantner, Karola Obermüller, András Hamary, Henrik Ajax, Michael Mauldin, C. René Hirschfeld, Falko Steinbach, and Rory Boyle.
As a song pianist, Joshua Rupley regularly performs with tenor Benedikt Heggemann, soprano Theresa Maria Romes and as a trio with soprano Anna-Lena Müller and mezzo-soprano Lena Elisabeth Vogler. From 2018 to 2020, he was artistic director of the art song concert series “Werkstatt Lied Munich” together with Gerold Huber.
Joshua Rupley lives his calling as an artist and educator: With characteristic creativity and enthusiasm, he plunges into all kinds of activities dealing with the creation and communication of music.
In 2021, he began teaching at the Leopold Mozart College of Music of the University of Augsburg, where he has the privilege of assisting young pianists and singers in the formation of their artistic personality and interpretive skills. Beyond his university teaching, he teaches privately singers and pianists and gives master classes.