Composer Anthony Brandt (b. 1961) earned his degrees from California Institute of the Arts and Harvard University. His honors include a Koussevitzky Commission from the Library of Congress and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet-the-Composer, the Houston Arts Alliance, the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance Program. He has been a fellow at the Wellesley Composers Conference, the Tanglewood Institute, the MacDowell Colony and the Djerassi Resident Artists Colony. He has been a Visiting Composer at the Bowdoin International Festival, the Bremen Musikfest, Baltimore’s New Chamber Arts Festival, Southwestern University, SUNY- Buffalo, Cleveland State University, and the Universidad Verucruzana and Composer-in-Residence of Houston’s OrchestraX and the International Festival of Music in Morelia, Mexico. Recent commissions include the chamber opera Ulysses, Home (libretto by Neena Beber), the ballet Full Circle, Maternity for soprano and chamber orchestra (libretto by David Eagleman), Sphinx, a play with music in collaboration with Blackburn Prize winner Jennifer Haley, and the music-and-art installations What Time Is It? and The Library of Babble created with composer Chapman Welch and visual artist Jo Ann Fleischhauer. A recording of his vocal music, including his chamber opera The Birth of Something (libretto by Will Eno) has been released by Albany Records (Troy 1144).
Dr. Brandt is co-founder and Artistic Director of the Houston-based contemporary music ensemble Musiqa (www.musiqahouston.org). Winner of a 2013 and 2016 Adventurous Programming Awards from Chamber Music America and ASCAP, Musiqa presents subscription concerts in downtown Houston and free loft concerts at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Musiqa also has one of the largest educational programs of any contemporary music ensemble in the United States: over 50,000 public school students have participated in the past twelve years, all at no cost to schools. Musiqa’s educational programs have been recognized with eight awards from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Dr. Brandt and neuroscientist David Eagleman have co-authored The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World, published by Catapult (US) and Canongate (UK) and soon to be released in translation in eight other countries. Dr. Brandt, neuroscientist Robert Slevc and violist Molly Gebrian have published a paper on music and early language acquisition in the journal Frontiers and have co-authored a chapter on the same subject for the upcoming Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology. Dr. Brandt has organized three international conferences at the Shepherd School on “Exploring the Mind through Music,” most recently in 2016. He is currently a principal investigator in a stroke recovery research program at Houston Methodist’s Center for Performing Arts Medicine.
Dr. Brandt is also the author of an innovative, web-based music appreciation course called “Sound Reasoning” (www.soundreasoning.org), created for the Connexions Project. “Sound Reasoning” was awarded an Access to Artistic Excellence Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Dr. Brandt is an Associate Professor of Composition at The Shepherd School of Music. He was awarded the University’s George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching in 2007 and the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize in 2001.