Marcos Balter

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Marcos Balter
Birth nameMarcos Balter
Born (1974-04-01) April 1, 1974 (age 45)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
OriginNew York City, New York, U.S.
Years active1979–present
Associated actsAlmeida Prado, Linda Bustani, Augusta Thomas, Amy Williams, Jay Yim, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Lincoln Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Harvard University, Art Institute of Chicago, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Tanglewood Music Center, Lawrence University, Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Montclair State University, Columbia College Chicago, University of Pittsburgh, Northwestern University

Marcos Balter (born April 1, 1974 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is a contemporary classical music composer.

Life and Professional Career[edit]

Balter began his music studies at age five at the Conservatório Musical Heitor Villa-Lobos, and was admitted to the Conservatório Brasileiro de Música at age eleven. During his late teenage years, Balter studied privately with composer Almeida Prado and pianist Linda Bustani. He moved to the United States in 1996 to study music composition at Texas Christian University and later on at Northwestern University. His main composition teachers were Augusta Read Thomas, Amy Williams, and Jay Alan Yim.[1]

His works have been programmed by prominent music organizations including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNOW Series,[2] New World Symphony, Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, the Baryshnikov Arts Center,[3] and the Fromm Music Series at Harvard University.[4] Past honors include commissions from Meet the Composer,[5] Chamber Music America,[6] the Fromm Music Foundation, and the Art Institute of Chicago,[7] as well as fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Tanglewood Music Center (Leonard Bernstein Fellowship),[8] Lawrence University, and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation.[9]

He currently lives in New York City, and is an Associate Professor of Music Theory/Composition at Montclair State University.[10] He was the Director of Music Composition Studies at Columbia College Chicago from 2009 to 2014,[11] Visiting Professor of Composition at the University of Pittsburgh in 2008-09,[12] and Visiting Professor at Northwestern University in 2010.

Musical Style[edit]

Balter's eclectic and unique compositional voice draws from several sources ranging from Spectral Music to Postminimalism, with a special emphasis on unusual sound colors and complex rhythmic patterns. His music often blurs the boundaries between Modernism and Post-Modernism, and is embraced by a wide array of musical trends. His works frequently explore the individualistic qualities of the performers for whom they are written. To that extent, his particularly close relationship with artists like the International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, and violist Nadia Sirota have decidedly shaped his musical language into what critics describe as "a fiercely imaginative palette of instrumental and vocal sounds rare in today's dour, post-classical new music" (The Chicago Tribune),[13] "surrealistic" (The New York Times),[14] and "a virtuosic equilibrium of colliding particles" (Boston Globe).[15]

His catalogue includes works for solo instruments, electroacoustic music, chamber music, and orchestral works.


  1. ^ [1] Composer's Official Website. Retrieved 05 November 2011.
  2. ^ [2] Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNOW Series (October 4, 2010). Retrieved 05 November 2011.
  3. ^ [3] Baryshnikov Arts Center, calendar of events. Retrieved 05 November 2011.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2011-11-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Harvard University, news letter, Winter 2009. Retrieved 05 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2011-11-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Meet the Composer Studio: Marcos Balter. Retrieved 05 November 2011.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-04-18. Retrieved 2009-06-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Chamber Music America: programs: past recipients. Retrieved 05 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Downtown Chicago's #1 Museum". Retrieved 2011-11-05.[dead link] Art Institute of Chicago: calendar of events. Retrieved 05 November 2011.
  8. ^ [4] Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center, press release (July 14, 2005). Retrieved 05 November 2011.
  9. ^[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Montclair State - College of the Arts - Theory/Composition. Retrieved August 1, 2015
  11. ^ [5] Archived 2011-12-10 at the Wayback Machine Faculty profile, Columbia College Chicago. Retrieved 05 November 2011.
  12. ^ [6] University of Pittsburgh, Music Department: Visiting Faculty Composer Marcos Balter. Retrieved 05 November 2011.
  13. ^ [7] The Chicago Tribune, review by John Von Rhein, 05 June 2011. Retrieved 05 November 2011.
  14. ^ [8] The New York Times, review by Allan Kozinn, 27 November 2009.Retrieved 05 November 2011.
  15. ^ [9] Archived 2012-05-31 at the Wayback Machine Boston Globe, review by Matthew Guerrieri, 24 February 2009. Retrieved 05 November 2011.