Praised by The Chicago Tribune as “minutely crafted” and “utterly lovely,” The New York Times as “whimsical” and “surreal,” and The Washington Post as “dark and deeply poetic,” the music of composer Marcos Balter (b.1974, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is at once emotionally visceral and intellectually complex, primarily rooted in experimental manipulations of timbre and hyper-dramatization of live performance.
Past honors include the American Academy of Arts and Letters Music Award, fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and the Tanglewood Music Center (Leonard Bernstein Fellow), two Chamber Music America awards, as well as commissions from the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Chicago Symphony Music Now, The Crossing, Meet the Composer, Fromm Foundation at Harvard, The Holland/America Music Society, The MacArthur Foundation, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Recent performances include those at Carnegie Hall, Köln Philharmonie, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, ArtLab at Harvard University, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Hall, Teatro Amazonas, Sala São Paulo, Park Avenue Armory, Miller Theater, Villa Medici, Teatro de Madrid, Bâtiment de Forces Motrices de Genève, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago. Recent festival appearances include those at Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival, Ecstatic Music Festival, Acht Brücken, Aldeburgh Music Festival, Aspen, Frankfurter Gesellschaft für Neue Musik, Darmstadt Ferienkurse, and Banff Music Festival. Past collaborators include the rock band Deerhoof, dj King Britt and Alarm Will Sound, yMusic and Paul Simon, Claire Chase and the San Francisco Symphony, the International Contemporary Ensemble, JACK Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, Orquestra Experimental da Amazonas Filarmonica, American Contemporary Music Ensemble, American Composers Orchestra, and conductors Karina Canellakis, Susanna Malkki, Matthias Pintscher, and Steven Schick.
His works are published by PSNY (Schott), and commercial recordings of his music are available through New Amsterdam Records, New Focus Recording, Parlour Tapes+, Oxingale Records, and Navona Records.
He is the Fritz Reiner Professor of Musical Composition at Columbia University, having previously held professorships at the University of California San Diego, Montclair State University, and Columbia College Chicago, visiting professorships at the University of Pittsburgh, Northwestern University, and the University of Pennsylvania, and a pre-doctoral fellowship at Lawrence University. He currently lives in Manhattan, New York.