Joseph Spooner came to the cello indirectly, via a degree in Classics at Cambridge, and a doctorate in Greek papyrology at London and Florence universities. During postgraduate study at the Royal Academy of Music, he embraced traditional repertoire and also developed tastes for contemporary and non-standard works. Since then, he has pursued a diverse career, principally as a soloist and chamber musician, and this work has taken him across the UK, from the concert platform to the classroom, from the Baltic to the Atlantic, and from the recording studio to France, Austria, the Netherlands, New York and Russia.
As a soloist, there have been performances of concertos from Haydn and Dvořák to Leighton and Korngold, broadcasts from his recordings on BBC Radio 3 and Radio New Zealand, and recital series featuring the complete solo suites by Bach and Bloch, the complete music for cello and piano by the Mighty Handful, and the complete works of Beethoven for the instrument. As a chamber musician Joseph was a founder member of the mixed ensemble Camarada, and he subsequently worked regularly with a piano trio, a clarinet trio, and a string quartet.
Joseph was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2012. He is proud to be the dedicatee of Alwynne Pritchard's Danaides, Errollyn Wallen's Spirit Symphony: Speed Dating for Two Orchestras, and Martin Read's Troper Fragment. His instrument was made by Nicholas Vuillaume in c.1865.