Marcos Balter

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 is at once emotionally visceral and intellectually complex, primarily rooted in experimental manipulations of timbre and hyper-dramatization of live performance. His works have been featured worldwide in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Köln Philharmonie, the French Academy at Villa Medici, New World Symphony Center, Park Avenue Armory, Teatro de Madrid, Tokyo Bunka Kaykan, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Teatro Amazonas, Le Poison Rouge, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago.

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Albums by Composer


Past honors include commissions from Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America, The Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, The Holland/America Music Society, The MacArthur Foundation, and the Art Institute of Chicago, fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Tanglewood Music Center/Leonard Bernstein Foundation, and Civitella Ranieri Foundation, as well as first prizes in several national and international composition competitions. His works are published by Schott NY, and commercial recordings of his music are available through New Amsterdam Records, New Focus Recording, Parlour Tapes+, and Navona Records. 

Recent collaborators include the rock band Deerhoof, Ensemble Dal Niente, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Chicago Composers Orchestra, Orquestra Experimental da Amazonas Filarmonica, American Contemporary Music Ensemble, Chicago Q Ensemble, tenor Peter Tantsits, soprano Tony Arnold, Third Coast Percussion, Ensemble SurPlus, Fonema Ensemble, Anaphora Ensemble, and conductors Steven Schick, Cliff Colnot, Scott Voyles, Eric Hewitt, Michael Lewanski, Federico Sardella, and Mathew Kasper. 


He graduated with school and departmental honors at Northwestern University where his main teachers were Augusta Read Thomas, Amy Williams, and Jay Alan Yim. Guest instructors in master classes and festivals include Louis Andriessen, George Benjamin, Pierre Boulez, Elliott Carter, Oliver Knussen, Christian Lauba, Tristan Murail, Enno Poppe, Bernard Rands, Wolfgang Rihm, and Kaija Saariaho. 

Having previously taught at the University of Pittsburgh, Northwestern University, Lawrence University, and Columbia College Chicago, he is currently an Associate Professor of Music Composition at Montclair State University.