Robert A. Baker
composer | theorist
"... his style is decisively contemporary in its sophisticated use of dissonance and its exploitation of sonic effects."

Tim Smith
Clef Notes & Drama Queens, The Baltimore Sun
June 9, 2009


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SHARP EDGES (the CD)
solo and chamber music by Robert A. Baker

"... uncompromising music  which encompasses the past
 while embracing the future."

David Olds, The Wholenote Magazine, February 2013


more info ...
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see more on the PHOTOS page

 

 

recent news ...

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25 November 2016
Article piublished in Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 54, no. 1, Winter 2016

My recent article, The Hunt for Form in Wolfgang Rihm's Ninth String Quartet, "Quartettsatz" (1992-1993), is now available in Perspectives of New Music's latest issue. It's a great honour to be included in this legendary journal, and I'm very pleased to spread the word about Rihm's music. Click here for more information and to access the article.

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28 October 2016
Premiere of Mirror, mirror ... by Duo Gelland

Swedish-German violinists, Martin and Cecilia Gelland, gave a powerful first performance of my violin duo, Mirror, mirror ... at 113 Composers Collective's first concert of the season in the beautiful Grace Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, MN.
Many thanks to Tiffany, Mike, Joey, and everyone else, at 113 for a wonderful experience and warm hospitality in the Twin Cities.

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12 August 2016
Valence III included on Navona Records
SCI Composers' CD Series, Vol. 30
My 2010 trio, Valence III, for oboe, cello, and percussion, is included on Volume 30 of SCI's Composers' CD Series, released on Navona Records. I am extremely honoured to be selected for this series, and forever indebted to the wonderful performers on this live recording: Howard Niblock, oboe; Miyoko Grine-Fisher, cello; and Alex Rolfe, percussion. 

"... Valence III ... creates a special feeling of emptiness between moments of calm inner peace and excitement."

Marçal Borotau, Sonograma Magazine, September 2016

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Summer 2015
Faustus Songs published in
SCI Journal of Music Scores, Vol. 55
My 2014 vocal work on Christopher Marlowe's The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, has been published in the most recent  SCI Journal of Music Scores. I am immensely honoured once again to be a part of this evergrowing voluminous collection of great music by living composers. Recording of the work is in planning, and will appear in the not too distant future.

 

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22 - 25 June 2016
Premiere at mise-en festival 2016, New York City
I'm extremely honoured to have been one of the selected composers in the International Call for Scores, commissioned to compose a new chamber work for ensemble mise-en, which was premiered at the 2016 festival in New York City in June. Here's an excerpt from the premiere.

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12 Mar 2016
Premiere of a New Work for cellist Dan Shomper
Looking forward to collaborating with cellist Daniel Shomper in March at Anne Arundel Comunity College, where Dan will premiere my new work As the Restless Spheres for solo cello on a recital of premieres. Programme includes works by Steve Gorbos, Jacob Polasky, and Lawrence Moss. Stay tuned for more details and media from the event.

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11 Dec 2015
Conducting Morton Feldman with the CUA Contemporary Music Ensemble
Very excited to be giving the first performance of the season of our new CUA Contemporary Music Ensemble with Morton Fledman's Routine Investigations. Comprised of current CUA Graduate Performance Majors, the CME will appear on the Composition Division semester concert along with new works by current CUA students and faculty.
7:30 pm, Ward Recital Hall, CUA, Washington DC.

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4 Dec 2015
Premiere for Soprano, Choir and Orchestra in Washington, D.C.'s National Basilica
My 2015 work, Stellam - Lunam - Rorate caeli desuper, for soprano, chorus and orchestra, was premiered on 4 December 2015 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C. Commissioned by Dr. Leo Nestor and The Catholic University of America, The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, It was a great honour to be the composer of the new work on this year's programme. Subsequently, the performance was broadcast on EWTN over the Christmas / New Year's week, connecting to millions around the world. Here is the introduction from the premiere:

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more news ...
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BIOGRAPHY & CV
COMPOSITIONS
WRITINGS
CONDUCTING
NEWS & EVENTS
DISCOGRAPHY
PHOTOS
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STELLAM - LUNAM - RESPICE CAELI DESUPER
for soprano, chorus, and orchestra


(excerpt)
[] Commissioned by the B. T. Rome School of Music,
The Catholic University of America
 

more info ...

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VALENCE III
for oboe, cello, and percussion



[] Included on SCI Composers' CD Series, Vol. 30
[] Published in SCI Journal of music Scores, Vol. 48

more info ...

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CHAMBER CONCERTO #3: Time Fields
for 15 instruments


(excerpt)
[] Honourable Mention in Free Style
Competition 2010, London, England

more info ...

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WINGS AND ENGINES
for solo violin & orchestra


(excerpt from 2nd mvt.)
[] Selected for the 2007 CMC Ontario
Region Professional Readings Series
more info ...
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STRING QUARTET #1:
Releasing Anamnesis


(excerpt from 1st mvt.)
[] ISCM Canadian Section for World Music
Days 2010, Sydney, Australia
[] Finalist in the 6th International Composition
Competition, “Città di Udine” 2006, Italy
[] Canadian Contemporary Music Workshop,
2004 , Toronto, Canada
more info ...
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SHARP EDGES
for chamber ensemble


(excerpt)

[] Selected for inclusion in
New Music Miami 2011 ISCM Festival
[] Written for the
St. Magnus Composers' Course 2009,
Kirkwall, Scotland
more info ...
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VALENCE II
for clarinet, violin, cello & piano


(excerpt)
[] York Spring New Music Festival, England,
[] Didsbury Arts Festival, Manchester, England
[] Selected for inclusion in FSU 15th Biennial
F estival of New Music, Tallahasee, Florida

more info ...
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VALENCE I
for solo piano


(excerpt)
[] Selected for inclusion in the 2010 Society of
Composers, Inc. National Conference
[] Selected for inclusion in the College Music Society
2009 Mid-Atlantic Composer’s Concert

more info ...
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You can access more of my music
on the COMPOSITIONS page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

listen ...

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ALL THE LIGHTS ARE GATHERED IN YOUR EYES
for flute, clarinet, trombone, piano, violin, & contrabass

[] Commissioned by Ensemble Mise-en
Moon Young Ha, conductor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 June 2016, Taipei Cultural Center, New York, NY


(excerpt)

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... AND WONDROUS STRANGE SNOW
for solo violin, strings, piano & percussion


III. Interlude 1



VII. Hot Ice (excerpt)

 

[] Commissioned by SONAR New Music Ensemble;
Colin Sorgi, violin; R. A. Baker, conductor

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"... a gorgeous gust of gentle intensity ... Strings shudder behind [the] solo violin line like a sharp gust of wind that
cuts to the bones.
Even in rehearsal, the piece sounds and feels fresh."

Bret McCabe, Johns Hopkins Magazine, Spring 2015

"... an intriguing tone poem ... a nod to the Winter concerto
of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" ... Baker's subtle score has its share of telling silences and shudders.
The latter recall the shivery motives that pop up in Vivaldi's work, used here to equally coloristic effect."

Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun, February 2, 2015