Discipline: Music Composition

Anthony Brandt

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: Houston, TX
MacDowell Fellowships: 1996, 1998, 2023

Composer Anthony Brandt’s catalogue includes three chamber operas, as well as orchestral, chamber, vocal, theater, dance, and television scores. Recordings of his music are available on the Albany, Crystal, and Navona Live labels. He is currently a co-investigator in an NEA Research Lab examining the benefits of musical creativity for the elderly, as well as studies examining music’s effects on stroke recovery and surgeons’ stress. He is a professor of composition and theory at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and has been awarded the University’s Phi Beta Kappa and George R. Brown teaching prizes.

He has been commissioned by the River Oaks and Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestras, Da Camera of Houston, the SOLI ensemble, Houston Ballet II, the Bowdoin International and Summer Festivals, the Moores School of Music Percussion Ensemble, the Webster and Fischer Duos, Louisiana Philharmonic, Opera in the Heights, KINETIC, and more. He’s been a visiting composer at many festivals and university music programs.

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, and Djerassi.

As co-founder and artistic director of the Houston-based, award winning new music ensemble Musiqa, Dr. Brandt has produced performances of the music of over two hundred living composers and free educational programs that have served over 60,000 students.

Dr. Brandt and neuroscientist David Eagleman have co-authored The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World, which has been published in 14 countries. Brandt has also contributed chapters to the Oxford Handbook of Music and the Brain, Oxford Handbook of Music and Language and several other volumes, and published papers in the Creativity Research Journal, Frontiers, the American Journal of Psychology, Tech Trends, and Brain Connectivity.

At MacDowell in 2023, he worked on his score for "Meeting of Minds" for two dancers and live and recorded string quartet, a collaboration with NobleMotion Dance, visual designer Badie Khaleghian, and the University of Houston BRAIN Center. The dancers will be wearing portable EEG caps monitoring their brain waves during the rehearsals and performances, with Khaleghian's projections responding to the live data. The ballet will be premiered in Houston in January 2024 in educational and public concerts.


Irving Fine

Anthony Brandt worked in the Irving Fine studio.

Youngstown Studio was given to MacDowell by friends of Miss Myra McKeown in Youngstown, OH, where she promoted both art and music. It was renamed Irving Fine Studio in 1972 in honor of Irving Fine, a distinguished composer, conductor, and teacher who was a MacDowell Fellow during the 1940s and 1950s. The simple interior of the studio…

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