Brian Baumbusch (b. 23 April 1987, Washington, D.C.) is an American composer and educator.
Mr. 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 various composers including Chris Brown, Fred Frith, Roscoe Mitchell, and Zeena Parkins, among others.
From 2016 to 2018, he taught composition, music theory, and music history on the faculty at Santa Clara University where he also directed the Balinese Gamelan ensemble and where he continues to teach while pursuing his D.M.A. Baumbusch has lectured on composition and world music at 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 and lectures at UCSD, UCSB, CalArts, UNR and Mills College.
Baumbusch has conducted extensive research and collaborated with a variety of musicians from around the globe. In 2009, he founded the Cacho Ensemble in Madrid, dedicated to reviving traditional Argentinean folk music, which has performed throughout Europe and the United States. In 2010, Baumbusch completed the first full English translation of Atahualpa Yupanqui's epic poem El payador perseguido. Baumbusch has also performed with many Balinese gamelan groups across the U.S., including Sekar Jayaof the Bay Area, Dharma Swara of New York, and Galak Tikka of Boston, among others.
In 2012, Baumbusch produced a collaboration with the JACK Quartet and Balinese choreographers Dr. I Made Bandem and Dr. Suasthi Bandem, together with Dr. Bandem's performing group Makaradhwaja. They premiered their collaboration at the Bali Arts Festival in June 2012.
In 2013, Baumbusch founded The Lightbulb Ensemble, a neo-gamelan performing on instruments built and designed by Baumbusch. The Lightbulb Ensemble was highlighted in November of 2013 at the Performing Indonesia Festival at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., where they represented the advent of American experimental performing ensembles drawing heavy influence from gamelan music. In the beginning of 2017, Baumbusch was awarded the Gerbode music commission award as the lead artist to produce a new evening-length work for the Lightbulb Ensemble, The Pressure.
In March of 2020, Baumbusch was commissioned to compose Isotropes for the University of California (Santa Cruz) Wind Ensemble, a 25-minute piece that allows for each performer to record their part along to an individualized click track. This remote-learning piece allowed the ensemble to stay active during the shelter-in-place lockdown due to COVID-19.
Works for Winds
- Isotropes (Flex instrumentation) (2020)