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.
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.
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.
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.
Today at 3 pm, the Brothers Balliett talk to composer and Guggenheim recipient Alex Mincek, who's collaborated with Yarn/Wire, JACK Quartet and Wet Ink among others.
This week, the Brothers gaze into the universe of contemporary music's rising stars. Listen at 3 pm for music by Stuart Breczinski, Carson Cooman, Jacob Gotlib and Lansing McLoskey.
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.
This Halloween, the Brothers Balliett serve up a cauldron of bone-chilling works by living (un-dead) composers. Listen at 3 pm for hair-raising Ondes Martinot features by Etienne Rolin and Lindsay Cooper alongside uneasy music by John Harbison and Robert Moran.
This week the Brothers Balliett celebrate Q2 Music's Fall Pledge Drive with a cross section of the hottest young New York ensembles, from Goya-inspired works to collaborations among the most prominent New York composers. Listen today at 3 pm.
Today, Q2 Music celebrates new music's favorite holiday, Halloween, with its first 24-hour scarathon of hair-raising microtones, densely clustered choruses and heart-pumping slasher film suites.
This week, the Brothers are joined in the studio by composer Ray Lustig, a composer who is in constant dialogue with the past while also drawing on concepts of modern disease and internet latency. Listen today at 3 pm.
Whether you're looking for an orchestra made entirely of samples, broken-down Bach, or full-scale hip-hopera, Gene Pritsker is your man. He's orchestrated the Cloud Atlas film and had his music premiered by the Berlin Philharmonic. The Brothers sit down to talk shop with Pritsker Thursday at 3 pm.
Today at 3 pm, The Brothers Balliett delve into the deep end and listen to some of the most exciting music being written today for those stalwarts of the subterranean: the cello and double bass.
There's one instrument that you love in secret, behind closed doors, and when you hear the silvery high notes at an orchestra concert, a veritable thrill of delight massages your soul. This week the Brothers Balliett explore everyone's favorite woodwind instrument: the flute.
For some American composers, the string quartet just isn't going to cut it. This week the Brothers Balliett listen to quintets by two Americans: bassist, composer and MacArthur fellow Edgar Meyer and Pulitzer-prize winner John Harbison.
Thursday at 3 pm, The Brothers Balliett toast the return of the "season of learning" with a show that focuses on music by current composition students from around the country.
In the last fifty-or-so years, composers have explored an exceptionally wide range of expression in music for solo voice. Today at 3 pm, the Brothers Balliett feature vocal music by Milton Babbitt, Harrison Birtwistle and Philip Glass.
What happens when pop stars go wild? Sometimes they destroy hotel rooms. Sometimes they buy islands. Sometimes they write classical music. This week's episode of The Brothers Balliett takes a look at some remarkable members of the pop world writing more "serious" music.
What do composers Yehudi Wyner, Michel Merlet and Russian-born composer Lera Auerbach all have in common? They've all contributed new examples to the ever-expanding repertoire of music for a solo string instrument with piano—a genre called, for simplicity's sake, the "Sonata."
Summer is quickly coming to a close. To commemorate the changing of the seasons, the Brothers serve up a final installment of their four-part Summer Symphony Series with music of Aaron Jay Kernis and Charles Wuorinen. Listen today at 3 pm.
For the third installment of their 4-part Summer Symphony Series, the Brothers Balliett feature orchestral music of German composer Hans Werner Henze and American composer Milton Babbitt. Listen today at 3 pm.