David Biedenbender (b. 1984, Waukesha, Wisc.) is an American composer and teacher.
Biedenbender's first musical collaborations were in rock and jazz bands as an electric bassist and in wind and jazz bands as a bass trombone and euphonium player. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in composition from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the Bachelor of Music degree in composition and theory from Central Michigan University. He has also studied at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in Uppsala, Sweden with Anders Hillborg and Steven Stucky, the Aspen Music Festival and School with Syd Hodkinson, and in Mysore, India. where he studied South Indian Carnatic music. His primary musical mentors include Stephen Rush, Evan Chambers, Kristin Kuster, Michael Daugherty, Bright Sheng, Erik Santos, Christopher Lees, David Gillingham, José Luis-Maurtúa, John Williamson, and Mark Cox.
Composer David Biedenbender’s music has been described as “simply beautiful”, “striking” and “brilliantly crafted” and is noted for its “rhythmic intensity” and “stirring harmonies”. “Modern, venturesome, and inexorable…The excitement, intensity, and freshness that characterizes Biedenbender’s music hung in the [air] long after the last note was played”. He has written music for the concert stage as well as for dance and multimedia collaborations, and his work is often influenced by his diverse musical experiences in rock and jazz bands as an electric bassist, in wind, jazz, and New Orleans-style brass bands as a euphonium, bass trombone, and tuba player, and by his study of Indian Carnatic Music.
His present creative interests include working with everyone from classically trained musicians to improvisers, acoustic chamber music to large ensembles, and interactive electronic interfaces to live brain data.
David has had the privilege of collaborating with many renowned performers and ensembles, including Alarm Will Sound, the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, the Stenhammar String Quartet (Sweden), the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, the United States Navy Band, the Philharmonie Baden-Baden(Germany), VocalEssence, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the Music from Copland House Ensemble, Detroit Symphony Orchestra bass trombonist Randall Hawes, and the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Choir.
Recent recognition for his work includes two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (2011, 2012) and the 2012 Suzanne and Lee Ettelson Composers Award. His music has been heard in many diverse venues, including Symphony Space (New York City), the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church (NYC), the Smithsonian Museum, the German Embassy (Washington, DC), the Antonín Dvořák Museum (Prague), the Old First Church (San Francisco), Harris Hall (Aspen Music Festival), the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Hill Auditorium (Ann Arbor, MI), the University of Michigan Museum of Art, as well as at numerous universities and conservatories, and it has been broadcast on NPR stations around the country.
In addition to composing, David is a dedicated teacher. He is Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Boise State University, and he was previously on the composition and theory faculty at Eastern Michigan University, Oakland University, Madonna University, and the Interlochen Arts Camp. He has also taught an interdisciplinary course in creativity and collaboration in the Living Arts program at the University of Michigan. His composition students have achieved regional and national recognition for their creative work, including numerous awards and acceptance into renowned summer music festivals and undergraduate and graduate composition programs.
Works for Winds
- Before the Dawn (2023)
- Cerulean (2014/2017)
- Concerto for Wind Ensemble
- Cyclotron (2017)
- Daybreak Crossing (2014)
- ...dream of ember, dream of star (2021)
- Dreams in the Dusk (2012)
- Extinguish Thou My Eyes (tr. Thornton and Biedenbender) (2022/2023)
- Ghost Apparatus (2017)
- Goof Groove from Cerulean
- Kyrie (arr. Austin) (2015/2019)
- Luminescence (2009)
- Melodious Thunk (2012)
- The Night (2021)
- Red Vesper (2014)
- Schism (2010/2015)
- Severance (2020)
- Shell and Wing (2018)
- Stomp (2008)
- Suite for Symphonic Band (2000)
- Their Eyes Are Fireflies (2018)
- This Night (2012/2021)
- Unquiet Hours (2017)
- What Is Written on the Leaves (2019)
- Batcheller, James. "Unquiet Hours." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 12, Compiled and edited by Andrew Trachsel, 488-495. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2021.
- David Biedenbender website
- Harris, Edward C. "Melodious Thunk." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 10, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 446-452. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2015.
- Silvey, Brian A. "Schism for Winds and Percussion." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 625-632. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.
- Stotter, Douglas. "Luminescence." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 10, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 771-779. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2015.