New York City-based bassoonist and composer Brad Balliett is gaining a reputation for unusual and thought-provoking programming, performance and composition. Brad is principal bassoon of the Princeton Symphony and artistic director of the chamber music collective Decoda. Devoted to new music, Brad performs regularly with Metropolis Ensemble, Ensemble Signal, and Ensemble ACJW, and has performed with International Contemporary Ensemble and Alarm Will Sound. A former contracted member of the Houston and Hartford Symphony Orchestras, Brad has also performed with the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra musicians.
Brad has participated in festivals including Marlboro, Tanglewood, June in Buffalo, Newport Jazz Festival, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommen, and the Lucerne Festival, where he was an Academy Spotlight Artist in composition. Since completing Carnegie Hall's leadership fellowship Ensemble ACJW, Brad has led songwriting and composition workshops for communities of participants in schools, universities, hospitals, shelters, and correctional facilities throughout the globe.
As a composer, Brad is frequently commissioned. He is currently at work on a choral work based on poetry of Karen Volkman for the Notre Dame Chorale and a bassoon concerto that he will perform with Metropolis Ensemble in the spring. His opera Hecuba (co-composed with Doug Balliett and Elliot Cole) premieres in November in Chicago.
Brad graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University in 2005, and holds an MM from Rice University. He makes operatic hip-hop albums with the band The Oracle Hysterical, and hosts a weekly radio show with his twin brother, Doug, on WQXR’s Q2 Music.