Joby Talbot was born in London. He studied composition privately with Brian Elias and at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College before completing a Master of Music (Composition) at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama under Simon Bainbridge.

Talbot's diverse catalogue includes: full-length narrative ballets such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (2011) and The Winter's Tale (2014); contemporary dance works such as Chroma (2007); small- and large-scale choral and vocal works such as The Wishing Tree (2002), Path of Miracles (2005), A Sheen of Dew on Flowers (2019); orchestral pieces including Sneaker Wave (2004), Chacony in G Minor (2011), Worlds, Stars, Systems, Infinity (2012); concerti such as Desolation Wilderness (2006), Ink Dark Moon (2018); and scores for the screen - The Lodger (1999), The Dying Swan (2002) and Vampyr (2018).

Talbot's critically acclaimed first opera, Everest, was given its premiere in 2015 by The Dallas Opera. His second opera based on the true story The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, a further collaboration with librettist Gene Sheer, premieres in 2023. Like Water for Chocolate, Talbot's third narrative ballet with Christopher Wheeldon premiered in June 2022 at The Royal Ballet and will be presented by partner commissioner ABT, in March 2023 in Costa Mesa and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in June 2023.