Musiqa co-founder and Artistic Director Anthony Brandt (b. 1961) earned his degrees from California Institute of the Arts (MA, 1987), and Harvard University (BA, 1983; PhD, 1993). 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 and Cleveland State University and Composer-in-Residence of Houston’s OrchestraX and the International Festival of Music in Morelia, Mexico. His chamber opera, "The Birth of Something," with a libretto by playwright Will Eno was commissioned and premiered by Da Camera of Houston. It will be released on Albany Records in October 2009.
Dr. Brandt composed the score for the television documentary, “Crucible of the Millennium,” which aired nationally on PBS in December and January 2001-02. The program was awarded “Platinum Award – Best in Show” at the Aurora International Film and Video Festival, and has also won awards from AXIOM, the United States International Film and Video Festival, and CHRIS. He was commissioned to reconstruct and orchestrate his late teacher Earl Kim’s last work, "Illuminations," left incomplete at the composer’s death in 1998; the completed score was premiered by Karol Bennett and the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra in February 2003. Performances of his music have taken place in Belgium, the Far East, Germany, Mexico, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City, and throughout the United States.
Dr. Brandt is the author of an innovative, web-based music appreciation course called “Sound Reasoning” (www.soundreasoning.org). “Sound Reasoning” was awarded an Access to Artistic Excellence Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Dr. Brandt has also written liner notes for New World, Bridge and Albany Records. A frequent speaker on music and the mind, Dr. Brandt is on the Advisory Board of Methodist Hospital’s Center for Performing Arts Medicine and organized a conference at Rice on “Exploring the Mind through Music” in March 2009.
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. Previously, he held visiting positions at Harvard University, Tufts University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.