New York City-based bassoonist and composer Brad Balliett is gaining a reputation for unusual and thought-provoking programming, performance and composition. As a bassoonist, Brad performs as a member of several groups around New York City, including The Declassified, Metropolis Ensemble, Signal, the Sinfonietta of Riverdale, Anthony Braxton's Trillium Orchestra and Ensemble ACJW, and is a founding member of The Declassified, DZ4 and the Deviant Septet.
Brad has appeared as principal bassoonist with the Hartford Symphony, Houston Symphony, American Ballet Theater, and the Wordless Music Orchestra, and has performed with the New York City Ballet, International Contemporary Ensemble, International Sejong Soloists, Sequitur, and Argento New Music Project. Devoted to expanding the bassoon's role in contemporary music, Brad performs frequently on the electric bassoon and has performed alongside Zakir Hussain and Miguel Zenon.
Raised in Massachusetts, Brad graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University in 2005, where he studied composition with Elliot Gyger and John Harbison. He completed a Master's degree in bassoon performance as a student of Benjamin Kamins at Rice University, and spent the following year playing bassoon in the Houston Symphony. A devoted teaching artist, Brad is a performer and teacher for Carnegie Hall's Musical Connections and the New York Philharmonic's School Partnership Program. Brad completed a fellowship through Carnegie Hall's program The Academy in 2009, through which led composition projects for students in the South Bronx. More information can be found at bradballiett.com.
Brad Balliett appears in the following:
Thursday, June 13, 2013
This week the Brothers kick off a new series that invites composers to play and discuss their own music, and help to curate the rest of the show. The inaugural guest in this new series is 2013 Rome Prize-winner and Chelsea Music Festival composer-in-residence Eric Nathan.
Thursday, June 06, 2013
Two samples from America and two from Europe are on the roster this week as The Brothers Balliett investigate that most wily of musical forms—the chamber concerto. Featuring music of Charles Wuorinen, Brian Ferneyhough, Ezra Sims and Beat Furrer. Listen at 3 pm.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
The sonic possibilities of historic instruments are indeed immeasurable. Today's composers have recently realized this—and with this realization came an entire orchestra of new sound colors. Today's Brothers Balliett episode tackles early instruments in modern music and the art of the new-music remix.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
How does a composer approach writing a piece for five instruments that are so different in sound production that creating a perfectly blended sound is almost an impossible task? This week focuses on that most unusual among the standard chamber groups: the woodwind quintet.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
What is the blingiest thing going on in new music? This week, The Brothers take an opportunity to look at some of the most glittering, exciting, unusual, and outright blinged-out music on the market. Listen Thursday at 3 pm.
Thursday, May 09, 2013
The electric guitar: symbol of rebellion, youth, and danger or legitimate color to be used in serious composition? Perhaps it's both. The Brothers Balliett takes a critical look at the myriad uses of this hundred-year-old instrument.
Thursday, May 02, 2013
On the fence about American composer Morton Feldman? Let the Brothers Balliett make you a fan with this week's episode featuring quintessential Feldman works. Listen today at 3 pm.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
New York City has always been a haven for ensembles dedicated to new music, but the scene seems to have exploded recently. This week's program shows off a handful of great new music ensembles, demonstrating an unceasing and thriving New York scene.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
What is it about imaginary animals that captures the human imagination? Borges imagined many monsters, as did Lewis Carroll, Maurice Sendak, and other literary luminaries. This week the Brothers Balliett wonder, how do imaginary animals impact today's music?
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Last January, the Brothers Balliett presented the Grown-Person's Guide, examining the orchestra one section at a time. By popular request, this week, they add more recent and usual instruments to their rundown. Featuring the ondes martenot, barrel organ and a music box ensemble. Listen today at 3 pm.
Thursday, April 04, 2013
What does the word "madrigal" bring to mind for you? Close harmony on charming texts? Italian chromaticism? This week, the Brothers Balliett listen to a handful of living composers offering their own unique stamp on this ancient form.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Whether you have full blown synesthesia, or you've just always thought that D Major sounds kind of blue, humans have associated color with music for ages. This week, the Brothers Balliett serve up colorful music from Dalbavie, Torke and Thompson.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
What happens when composers abandon the traditional equal division of the octave into twelve parts? This week the Brothers explore some music that might be considered 'out of tune' by equal-tempered standards, but are in fact performed according to rigorous sonic ideas.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Fred Lerdahl writes music that is thumping, harmonically interesting, and full of groove, and to listen to his music is to understand his process. The Brothers Balliett have been fans of Lerdahl's work for some time now, and this week they pay homage to the composer with a one-hour festival.
Thursday, March 07, 2013
It's become almost a cliche to hear a wiseacre remark about a particularly pungent Carlo Gesualdo madrigal: 'That's crazier than most new music you hear these days, and it's over 400 years old!' Today at 3 pm, the Brothers trace his influence on 20th and 21st Century music, from Stravinsky to Sciarrino.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if a major symphony orchestra took a page from the Q2 Music handbook? Today at 3 pm, the Brothers Balliett offer a program devised to follow traditional symphony concert format.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
We live in a post-classical world. Every day genre boundaries are pushed, invaded, blurred or otherwise violated. With that in mind, the Brothers Balliett take a multi-angled look at the overlap between new music and jazz.
Thursday, February 07, 2013
Yes, you heard correctly. The Brothers Balliett share a musical oddity — a performing version of Beethoven's 10th symphony in Eb major, completed (compiled?) from sketches by Dr. Barry Cooper. Only a truly audacious musician would dare attempt this task, and the results are well worth a listen.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
This week, the Brothers Balliett investigate three interconnected orchestral works, all centered around the idea of a memorial or homage. Music of Harrison Birtwistle, Magnus Lindberg and Witold Lutoslawski. Listen today at 3 pm.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
All good things must come to an end, and so this week, the Brothers Balliett close the month-long series The Grown Person's Guide to the Orchestra with a deep dive into the worlds of piano, harp and percussion.