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Brian Baumbusch

Brian Baumbusch

Academic Year Adjunct Lecturer

Gamelan Ensemble

Brian Baumbusch is a composer and multi-instrumentalist based in Northern California whose music is described by the Washington Post as being "exuberantly complex, maddeningly beautiful, and as intoxicating as a drug." He has given major performances at such venues as the Bali Arts Festival in Denpasar, The Smithsonian Instituion in Washington, The Clarice Smith Center of Maryland, Kresge Hall at MIT, Cambridge, and The Yerba Buena Center of San Francisco, among others, and has collaborated with musicians such as The JACK Quartet, I Made Subandi, Pauline Oliveros, David Behrman, Wayne Vitale, and Larry Polansky. He has performed with many Balinese gamelan groups across the U.S., including Sekar Jaya of the Bay Area, Dharma Swara of New York, and Galak Tikka of Boston, among others. He is currently the director of the U.C. Santa Cruz Balinese Gamelan ensemble, the Santa Clara University Balinese Gamelan ensemble, and the Oakland-based Lightbulb Ensemble, a twelve-player percussion ensemble which Baumbusch founded in 2013 performing on steel and wooden-keyed instruments built and designed by Baumbusch. Baumbusch has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Gerbode foundation music commissioning award, a New Music USA grant, a Composers Inc. commissioning award, and a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation award. Baumbusch received his undergraduate degree from Bard College, where he studied microtonal composition with Kyle Gann, and received his M.A. in composition from Mills College, where he studied under composers including Chris Brown, Fred Frith, Roscoe Mitchell, and Zeena Parkins. Baumbusch has lectured on composition and world music at Stanford University, the University of Maryland, The Smithsonian Institution, CalArts, Union College, Holy Cross, Bard College, Mills College, U.N. Reno, and the Escuela TAI of Madrid. He has additionally presented electronic music performances at UCSD, UCSB, CalArts, UNR and Mills College.