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Brian Baxter (b.1985) is a Chicago-based composer, drummer, and new music organizer. He creates compelling musical narratives by finding inspiration in places, events, ideas, and texts. Colorful timbres and pulsing rhythmic textures are stylistically central to his musical expression featuring primarily orchestral and chamber music as well as a smattering of songs.
Recent performances of Brian’s music have taken place across the US. In a collaboration with Shara Worden, Brian co-wrote orchestral arrangements of My Brightest Diamond’s music for a concert with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavillion in Chicago in August of 2011. At South by Southwest in Austin, Texas the Sissy-Eared Mollycoddles performed a version of Lulu City as a part of their set on Gabriel Prokofiev’s NonClassical Showcase at the Velveeta Room in March of 2011. On its inaugural concert in August of 2010, the Chicago Composers Orchestra premiered Brian’s Symphony in Movement. Selected as a winner of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra’s 50th Anniversary Fanfare Commission Competition, Brian’s Cahokia was premiered during the 2009-2010 CUSO 50th Anniversary season. Old Meeting-House Bell from song cycle, the great work Time, was performed on the 2008-2009 Phoenix Concerts Series in New York City by soprano, Erika Rauer and pianist, Jocelyn Dueck. Brian has been a recipient of the ASCAPLUS Award in 2011, 2010, and 2009.
Co-founder of the Chicago Composers Orchestra, a group dedicated to the performance and advocacy of orchestral music by living composers, Brian currently serves as its Chair of the Board of Directors. He is an active drummer and organizer with the new music collective, the Sissy-Eared Mollycoddles. He also works in operations with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras where he founded and teaches a Composition Seminar for CYSO student composers.
Brian received his M.M. in composition from Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts and his B.M. in composition from Illinois Wesleyan University. His principal teachers have included: Stacy Garrop, David Vayo, Daron Hagen, Mario Pelusi, and Garrett Byrnes.
Brian originally hails from the Midwestern town of Geneva situated on the banks of the Fox River just fifty-five miles west of downtown Chicago. When Brian is not composing, performing, or organizing music he spends his time listening, reading, travelling, watching baseball, and enjoying good company.
Brian is a member of ASCAP and publishes his music through ATIHADSO MUSIC.