composer and bassoon player

Follow Me

Bradley Balliett


Brad Balliett, described as 'impressive' by the New Yorker, loves life as a musical omnivore, focusing equal parts of his diverse career on composing, playing bassoon, and teaching artistry.

Brad frequently performs with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and has performed with 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 is principal bassoon of the Princeton Symphony, and is a member of Signal, Metropolis Ensemble, and Deviant Septet. He has performed as a soloist with the Houston Symphony and Johannesburg Symphony Orchestras.

As a composer, Brad has witnessed and participated in a steady stream of premieres of his orchestral, chamber, choral, opera, 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.

As a teaching artist, Brad regularly leads composition and song-writing workshops in prisons, schools, hospitals, and homeless shelters. He is a faculty member at the Peabody Institute (Johns Hopkins University), the Juilliard School (Evening Division) and Musicambia (Sing Sing Correctional Facility).

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 tirelessly composes sonnets and is passionate about Shakespeare and Nabokov.