Brad Balliett

The Cynthia & Robert Hillas Chair

BRAD BALLIETT enjoys being a musical omnivore, focusing equal parts of his career on composing, playing bassoon, and teaching artistry. Brad is principal bassoon of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, a member of Signal and Metropolis Ensemble, and Artistic Director for Decoda, the first and only Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall. He is on faculty at The Peabody Institute, The Juilliard School, and Musicambia.

As a bassoonist, Brad has performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera, Houston Symphony, New York City Ballet, and the International Contemporary Ensemble, and at the Marlboro, Tanglewood, Stellenbosch, Newport Jazz, and Lucerne Festivals. He has performed as a soloist with the Houston Symphony and Johannesburg Symphony Orchestras.

As a composer, Brad has written orchestral, chamber, choral, operatic, and incidental music. Recent commissions have come from Carnegie Hall, Cecelia Chorus, and  the Brooklyn Art Song Society. Brad regularly leads composition and song-writing workshops within corrections communities, including projects at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Allendale Correctional Facility, Lee Correctional Institute, Brooklyn Detention Center, San Quentin State Prison, Radgowski-Corrigan, and Bain Correctional Center. 

Brad is a member of the band/composer-collective Oracle Hysterical, with whom he has released several critically acclaimed albums and produced several evening-length works, including a song cycle with the string orchestra A Far Cry and an opera premiered at the Lucerne Festival. 

Raised in Westborough, Massachusetts, Brad graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University in 2005, where he studied composition with John Harbison, and holds an MM from Rice University. Brad spends as much time as possible outside, observing birds and trees.

Bassoonist Brad Balliett
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