Brian Baxter is a musician and orchestra manager who composes music inspired by family, place, and poetry.  Lawrence A. Johnson of The Classical Review has described Brian’s music as “smartly scored and makes effective impact with economy of means.”  He writes primarily chamber, orchestral, and vocal music.

Brian has released two albums including Roots Run Deep featuring the Chicago Q Ensemble with Angela Tomasino in 2016 and Book of Drum featuring himself on drums in 2014. For both projects he received Individual Artist Program Grant Awards from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.  Brian’s music has also been recorded by Access Contemporary Music’s Palomar Ensemble on its Ten x Ten collaborative arts vinyl release (November, 2013) and by Gaudete Brass Quintet on their debut release with Cedille Records, Chicago Moves (November, 2012).  His chamber and vocal music have been performed by the Anaphora Ensemble, Leila Bowie, Chicago Q Ensemble, Forecast Music, Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Gaudete Brass, Gillespie Quartet, Caitlin McKechney, neoPhonia New Music Ensemble, Palomar Ensemble, Phoenix Concerts, Singers On New Ground and many others.  His large ensemble works have received performances by the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestras, Chicago College of Performing Arts Wind Ensemble, Chicago Composers Orchestra, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, and Vermont Youth Orchestra.

In a collaboration with Shara Nova (aka My Brightest Diamond), Brian co-wrote orchestral arrangements of My Brightest Diamond’s music for a concert featuring Shara with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago (August, 2011). At South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, Brian’s music and performance was featured as a part of Gabriel Prokofiev’s NonClassical Showcase at the Velveeta Room (March, 2011).

Having co-founded the Chicago Composers Orchestra in 2010, a group dedicated to the performance of orchestral music by living composers, Brian served as Artistic Director and Board of Directors President from its founding through 2017, overseeing all aspects of the organization. In this capacity, he has lead the development of this organization from incorporating as a recognized 501(c)(3) organization to producing seven consecutive seasons of dynamic and financially viable performances and events.

Brian’s passion for new music is equaled by his passion for arts administration, specifically orchestra management. Brian currently serves as Executive Director for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra located in Davenport, Iowa. He previously worked for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras where he served as Chief Operating Officer.

Brian holds degrees in music composition from Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (M.M.) and Illinois Wesleyan University (B.M.) where he also minored in Business Administration.  He has received seven consecutive ASCAP PLUS Awards from 2009-2015.  He is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), the League of American Orchestras and is a member of the Recording Academy.

To contact Brian, send an email to brian {at} brianbaxtermusic {dot} com.