Marcos Balter

Fritz Reiner Professor of Musical Composition
Director of Undergraduate Composition (Spring 2024)
Committee on DEI (2023–24)
Office Address: 
619A Dodge Hall

Praised by The Chicago Tribune as “minutely crafted” and “utterly lovely,” The New York Times as “whimsical” and “surreal,” and The Washington Post as “dark and deeply poetic,” the music of composer Marcos Balter (b.1974, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is at once emotionally visceral and intellectually complex, primarily rooted in experimental manipulations of timbre and hyper-dramatization of live performance.

He’s the recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Music Award, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, Tanglewood Music Center Leonard Bernstein Fellowship, and two Chamber Music America Awards. He has been commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Orquestra do Estado de São Paulo, Geneva Camerata, Fromm Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others. His works are published by PSNY (Schott), and commercial recordings of his music are available through New Amsterdam Records, New Focus Recording, Parlour Tapes+, and Navona Records.

Recent appearances include those at Carnegie Hall, Köln Philharmonie, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, ArtLab at Harvard University, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Hall, Teatro Amazonas, Sala São Paulo, Park Avenue Armory, Teatro de Madrid, Bâtiment de Forces Motrices de Genève, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago. Recent festival appearances include those at Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival, Ecstatic Music Festival, Acht Brücken, Aldeburgh Music Festival, Aspen, Frankfurter Gesellschaft für Neue Musik, Darmstadt Ferienkurse, and Banff Music Festival. Recent collaborators include the rock band Deerhoof, King Britt and Alarm Will Sound, JACK Quartet, the International Contemporary Music Ensemble, yMusic and Paul Simon, New World Symphony, Claire Chase and the San Francisco Symphony, The Crossing, and conductors Susanna Malkki, Steven Schick, Matthias Pintscher, and Karina Canellakis.

Prior to his appointment at Columbia University as the Fritz Reiner Professor of Musical Composition, he has held professorships at the University of California San Diego, Montclair State University, and Columbia College Chicago, as well as visiting professorships at the University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, and the University of Pittsburgh, and a pre-doctoral fellow at Lawrence University.