Musiqa co-founder and Artistic Director Anthony Brandt (b. 1961) earned his degrees from California Institute of the Arts and Harvard University. His compositional 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 and Cleveland State University and Composer-in-Residence of Houston’s OrchestraX and the International Festival of Music in Morelia, Mexico. A recording of his vocal music, including his chamber opera The Birth of Something with a libretto by playwright Will Eno, has been released by Albany Records (Troy 1144). His most recent works include Maternity for soprano and chamber orchestra with a libretto by neuroscientist and novelist David Eagleman, and Sphinx, a one-act play with music written in collaboration with 2012 Blackburn Prize winning playwright Jennifer Haley.
Dr. Brandt has organized two international conferences on “Exploring the Mind through Music” and co-authored a paper on music and early language acquisition in the journal Frontiers. He is currently pursuing several research projects in music and cognition and serves on the Advisory Board for Methodist Hospital’s Center for Performing Arts Medicine. Dr. Brandt is the author of an innovative, free 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 Rice University’s 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.
Anthony Brandt's saxophone quartet, which was funded by an Artist Fellowship grant from the Houston Arts Alliance, is currently being choreographed by Oliver Halkowich of the Houston Ballet. The ballet will be danced by members of the Houston Ballet II. The first two movements have been recorded for Oliver and the dancers to work with; the third movement will be recorded in January.