James Baker is Principal Percussionist of the New York City Ballet Orchestra. He is Music Director and Conductor of the Composers Conference at Brandeis University and Director of the Percussion Ensemble at the Mannes College of Music. Mr. Baker is Principal Conductor of the Talea Ensemble. He was the Conductor of the New York New Music Ensemble for a number of years. He has led the Orchestra of the League of Composers, the Slee Sinfonietta at the Institute for 21st Century Music in Buffalo, Speculum Musicae, the New York Philharmonic Chamber Ensembles,Ensemble ACJW at Carnegie Hall, the Cygnus Ensemble, the Decoda ensemble, the ensemble Tactus at the Manhattan School of Music, Musica Nova at the Eastman School of Music, Ensemble 21 and DaCapo among many others.
He has conducted at the Darmstadt, Wien Moderne, Warsaw Autumn, Transit Belgium, Contempuls Prague, June in Buffalo, Nouvelles Voix Royaumont, reMusik St. Petersburg Russia, Contempo Chicago, Musikprotokoll Graz, and Beijing Modern music festivals. He has both played and conducted at the Bang on a Can Marathon and has conducted at the Monday Night Concerts in Los Angeles and Fromm concerts at Harvard. He has conducted a number of Composers Portrait concerts at Miller Theater including those of Pierre Boulez (where he led the US premier of Derive II), Toru Takemitsu, Jason Eckardt, John Zorn and Chou Wenchung. As instrumentalist or conductor he has premiered music by many of the great composers of the 20th and 21st centuries including: Boulez, Billone, Cage, Carter, Messiaen, Dillon, Harvey, Wourinen, Davidovsky, Glass, Aperghis, Ferneyhough, Saariaho, Reynolds, Henze, Crumb, Babbitt, Saunders Neuwirth, Furrer, Bernhard Lang, Gander, Poppe, Romitelli, Zorn, Georg Haas, Meadowcroft, Barraqué and many, many others often working closely with the composers.Through his work with his groups and at conferences,universities and festivals he is an advocate for the music of a whole new generation of composers from around the world, premiering hundreds of new works. Mr. Baker was for many years a conductor of Broadway shows, conducting at The King and I, The Sound of Music, The Music Man, Oklahoma, An Inspector Calls and La Boheme among others.
Ben Bolter is a conductor and songwriter/keyboardist based in Chicago. He made his orchestral debut at age 25 conducting the National Symphony Orchestra with the Washington Post praising his performance: DzBolter spotlighted the showiest aspects ...and made it look easy.dz As part of Chicago’s celebrated Ear Taxi Festival, his world premiere of Drew Baker’s NOX was named Chicago’s Best Classical Performance of 2016 by the Third Coast Review. He has also served as an assistant conductor with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. A regular guest conductor and collaborator with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Bolter has also worked with highly acclaimed groups and soloists such as Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Third Coast Percussion, Spektral Quartet, Square Peg Round Hole, Indiana University New Music Ensemble, Claire Chase, Tony Arnold and many others. He has worked closely with major composers such as Steve Reich, David Lang, John Luther Adams, Donnacha Dennehy, Andrew Norman and has given world premieres by Marcos Balter, Drew Baker, Clint Needham, Matthew Peterson, among many more. Bolter currently serves as Co-Director of the Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble and Associate Director of the NU Institutefor New Music. Additionally, Bolter serves as Music Director of Conservatory Orchestras at the Merit School of Music and has previously served as Artistic Director of The People’s Music School Youth Orchestras as well as Music Director of the New England Conservatory Festival Youth Orchestra.
David Dzubay's music has been performed by orchestras, ensembles and soloists in the U.S., Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Asia. Recent honors the 2015/2017 Sackler Prize and a 2015 Fromm Commission, Guggenheim, Bogliasco, MacDowell, Yaddo, Copland House and Djerassi fellowships, and a 2011 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Dzubay is currently Professor of Music, Chair of the Composition Department and Director of the New Music Ensemble at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington. He has conducted at the Tanglewood, Aspen, and June in Buffalo festivals. He has also conducted the League of Composers Orchestra in New York, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Greater Dallas Youth Symphony Orchestra, Music from China, Voices of Change, and an ensemble from the Minnesota Orchestra, among other groups. From 1995 to 1998 he served as Composer-Consultant to the Minnesota Orchestra, helping direct their "Perfect-Pitch" reading sessions, and during 2005-2006 he was Meet The Composer "Music Alive" Composer-in-Residence with the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra. Since 2011, Dzubay has taught composition for three weeks each summer at the Brevard Music Center, including conducting composer readings with orchestra and band. In 2016, he composed the Chamber Concerto for Trumpet, Violin and Ensemble as winner of the Sackler Prize, and Symphony No. 2 for a consortium of eleven university wind ensembles. He recently composed an orchestral work, Sijo, for the Asia Culture Center Festival, premiered in September 2017 and is currently composing a work for the Pacifica String Quartet.