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composer and bassoon player

Bradley Balliett

Brad Balliett enjoys being a musical omnivore, focusing equal parts of his career on composing, playing bassoon, and teaching artistry.

Brad is principal bassoon of the Princeton Symphony, a member of Signal and Metropolis Ensemble, a founding member and former Artistic Director for Decoda, a member of the composer-collective band Oracle Hysterical, and on faculty at The Peabody Institute, The Juilliard School, and Musicambia.

As a teaching artist, Brad regularly leads composition and song-writing workshops in prisons, schools, hospitals, and homeless shelters. His work with Musicambia has given him the opportunity to guide aspiring composers and performers at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Allendale Correctional Facility, Brooklyn Detention Center, and San Quentin State Prison. With Project: Music Heals Us, Brad has led music history and composition workshops at Radgowski-Corrigan and Bain Correctional Center. With Decoda, Brad has participated in workshops for over six years at Lee Correctional Institute.

As a bassoonist, Brad has performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera, Houston Symphony, New York City Ballet, and the International Contemporary Ensemble, and at the Marlboro, Tanglewood, Stellenbosch, Newport Jazz, and Lucerne Festivals. He has performed as a soloist with the Houston Symphony and Johannesburg Symphony Orchestras.

As a composer, Brad has written orchestral, chamber, choral, operatic, and incidental music. Recent commissions have come from Carnegie Hall, Cecelia Chorus, Metropolis Ensemble, and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra Wind Ensemble.

Brad is a member of the band/composer-collective Oracle Hysterical, with whom he has released several critically acclaimed albums and produced several evening-length works, including a song cycle with the string orchestra A Far Cry and an opera premiered at the Lucerne Festival. With his brother, Doug Balliett, Brad teaches history courses at Juilliard, gives lectures for Carnegie Hall, and has developed a series of Interactive Shakespeare Reading Parties.

Raised in Westborough, Massachusetts, Brad graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University in 2005, where he studied composition with John Harbison, and holds an MM from Rice University. Brad spends as much time as possible outside, observing birds and trees.