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, April 17, 2014
It's no secret the the Brothers Balliett love the music of Franz Schubert, whether it's tearing through the Trout Quintet or sobbing through Die Schoene Muellerin. Today at 3 pm, they take a look at Schubert's impact on today's music through works by Nick Didkovsky, Bruno Mantovani and Hans Zender.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
What happens when a master composer spends over ten years on a piece of music, constantly reworking the motives, finding new and ever-more-fascinating transformations and contexts in which to work his ever-changing material? Join The Brothers Balliett Thursday at 3 for a listen to Wolfgang Rihm's mammoth Jagden und Formen.
Thursday, April 03, 2014
Myths have inspired works in all media for millenia; some might even say that the expression mythology was the BIRTH of the arts. Today at 3 pm, the Brothers Balliett take a listen to two stunningly different musical adaptations of the myth of the Greek deity Hyperion.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Today at 3 pm, the Brothers Balliett take a look at that oh-so-unselfish form, the double concerto – music for two soloists and orchestra. Featuring music of Peter Maxwell Davies and Philip Glass.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Why is it that so many composers are reticent to write for the bassoon? Stream Michael Gordon's fiendishly difficult 'Rushes' for bassoon septet all this week and find out.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Does contemporary music need to be exquisitely written out with Ferneyhough levels of expressive detail? Do scores need to reflect every nuance, every slight bending of time, every possible elaboration of the melody? Today at 3 pm, the Brothers Balliett consider a group of composers for whom improvisation is essential to the execution of their artistic vision
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Although self-professed symphonies, concertos, and suites are far from disappearing (new examples are created each year), many composers are feeling an impulse to give their pieces an utterly unique name. This week the Brothers Balliett look at four composers that lean towards the unique and imaginative side when titling their work.
Thursday, March 06, 2014
What is a prelude? There are many conceptions and definitions floating around out there, but the Brothers Balliett define it as a short instrumental work that explores one musical concept or idea. This week's show curates a brand new book of preludes in the tradition of Debussy and Scriabin.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Did you ever notice just how high Italian composers write? From Puccini to Scelsi to Berio and everywhere in between, the Italians seem to love the highest range on each instrument, and as Oliver Knussen as pointed out, each generation seems to push the limits a little bit higher.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Why is Michael Nyman so awesome? Is it because he writes whatever he wants, unfettered by trend or dogma? Is it because he chooses beautiful harmonies, but is always searching for that new chord? Or is it just that his music is so damn groovy? Whatever it is it all adds up to be just to the tastes of the Brothers Balliett.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Ah, the sweet mid-February – a time when love blooms, greeting card companies experience a windfall, and congress is in full swing. Today at 3 pm, join the Brothers Balliett for presidential homages from Jennifer Higdon, Nico Muhly and Milton Babbitt as well an opera selection about a great first lady.
Thursday, February 06, 2014
Leonard Bernstein once wrote that the songs of the Beatles could easily stand next to the best songs of Schumann and Schubert. The Brothers Balliett listen Beatles covers and homages from Frederic Rzewski, John Cage and Alarm Will Sound.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
This week, the Brothers Balliett are joined in the studio by composer, Rome Prize-winner and Guggenheim Fellow Harold Meltzer. Listen Thursday at 3 pm.
Thursday, January 09, 2014
This week, the Brothers Balliett take a listen to one an oft-misunderstood instrument: the harpischord. Listen at 3 pm for performances by 17th century composer Froberger, songstress Joanna Newsome and Czeck composer Viktor Kalabis.
Thursday, January 02, 2014
Today at 3 pm, The Brothers Balliett take a look at some of their favorite releases from 2013, including music from Bang on a Can, International Contemporary Ensemble's Rebekah Heller, David Fulmer and more.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Special for the holiday season, this week The Brothers Balliett offer music designed to accompany the obligatory fire-staring that is so much a part of this time of year. This music is designed to help you zone in, zone out, forget the world and focus on the fire.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Charles Wuorinen befriended Edgard Varèse and Igor Stravinky in his youth and has collaborated with the likes of Salman Rushdie and Annie Proulx. Today at 3 pm he joins the Brothers Balliett for an interview and listening session.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
If there's one thing that the Brothers Balliett have learned from Rothko, it's that monochromaticism, in art OR music, is not necessarily a bad or boring thing. This week we explore ensembles built entirely of one sound color. Listen Thursday at 3 pm.
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Does an aural representation of geography exist, or does "landscape" take on a new meaning when applied to music? Today at 3 pm, the Brothers Balliett explore landscape music by John Cage, Harrison Birtwistle and Brian Fernyhough.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Thanksgiving isn't just about tryptophan-induced comas – it's also about cultures meeting and deep grooves. This week, in a special Thanksgiving edition, the Brothers Balliett honor that early American meeting of cultures with three pieces that exemplify cross-cultural connections.