Anthony Brandt

Composer Anthony Brandt (b. 1961) earned his degrees from California Institute of the Arts (MA '87) and Harvard University (BA '83, PhD '93). 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, a Visiting Composer at the Bowdoin International Festival, the FICA Festival at the University of Veracruz, the Bremen Musikfest, Baltimore’s New Chamber Arts Festival, Southwestern University, SUNY- Buffalo and Cleveland State University, and Composer-in-Residence of Houston’s OrchestraX and the International Festival of Music in Morelia, Mexico.   His commissions include works for Opera in the Heights, the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, Da Camera of Houston, the SOLI ensemble, Houston Ballet II, the Bowdoin International Festival, the Moores School of Music Percussion Ensemble, the Webster Trio, the Fischer Duo, and others. An album including his oratorio Maternity, with a libretto by David Eagleman, and chamber opera Ulysses, Home, with a libretto by Neena Beber, has been released by PARMA. An album of his vocal music, including his chamber opera The Birth of Something, with a libretto by playwright Will Eno, is available on Albany Records (Troy 1144).  A recording of his work Roundtop Trio is available on the Crystal label.

Dr. Brandt is co-founder and Artistic Director of the Houston-based contemporary music ensemble Musiqa, two-time winners of Adventurous Programming Awards from Chamber Music America and ASCAP (2013 and '16).  Musiqa presents subscription concerts at the Hobby Center and free loft concerts at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, where it has presented the music of over 200 living composers including over 70 world premieres.  Musiqa’s free educational programs have served over 60,000 students and teachers at over 240 Houston public schools in the past fifteen years and earned 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. Their book is being published in thirteen countries, was the official selection of the 2018-19 Texas State Common Reading Experience, and inspired the Netflix documentary The Creative Brain hosted by Dr. Eagleman.  It has been featured in a TIME magazine special issue on creativity, as well as in Nature, The Economist, Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, Discover magazine, and numerous other print and broadcast media.

Dr. Brandt has contributed chapters to the Oxford Handbook of Music and the Brain and Mobile Brain Imaging and the Neuroscience of Art, Innovation and Creativity, and has co-authored papers in the journals Frontiers and Brain Connectivity.  He is currently a co-PI in an NEA Research Lab examining the benefits of musical creativity for the elderly.   He has organized three international conferences at Rice on “Exploring the Mind through Music," most recently in June 2016.  

Dr. Brandt is a Professor of Composition and Theory at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.  He has been awarded the University’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Professional Service and Leadership (2019), a George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching (2007), and a Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award (2001).

More Information

Anthony Brandt , Professor of Composition and Theory and Chair of Composition and Theory
B.A. Cum Laude (1983) Harvard University; M.A. (1987) California Institute of the Arts; Ph.D. (1993) Harvard University
1601 Alice Pratt Brown Hall
713-348-2192