DRAM Honors Composer Henry Brant (1913 - 2008)

Posted on Thursday, May 01, 2008

Composer Henry Brant died Saturday, April 26 at his home in Santa Barbara, California. In honor of the life of this extraordinary composer, DRAM highlights his life and works.

Composer and music critic Kyle Gann described Brant as follows. Brant was "a visionary of Ivesian imagination... the leading pioneer of spatial music, music played by ensembles separated by wide distances. If he remains a rather obscure name, it is only because his music...is so difficult to organize and record that few have a chance to experience it."

Click on any of the links below to learn more about Henry Brant or to listen to examples of his music.

Carl Fischer Publishers Biography of Henry Brant

New York Times Obituary of Henry Brant by Allan Kozinn

Grove Music Online Entry for Henry Brant

In addition to Brant's own works, also included here are works by his teachers Wallingford Riegger and George Antheil, as well as Wendy Mae Chambers. Chambers, though she never studied directly with Brant, has carried on in his footsteps with compositions for unusually large ensembles (Seventy-seven Trombones for example) as well as spatial compositions, such as Music for Choreographed Rowboats.

Works by Henry Brant
(listed by date of composition)

Hieroglyphics 3 (1958)

Verticals Ascending (1967)

Nomads (1974) - Oberlin Wind and Brass Ensembles

Ghost Nets (1988) - American Camerata

Orbits (1979) - A Spatial Symphonic Ritual for 80 Trombones, Organ and Sopranino Voice

Solar Moths (1979) - Henry Brant, Daniel Kobialka, Amy Snyder

Western Springs (1984) - A Spatial Assembly for 2 Orchestras, 2 Choruses and 2 Jazz Combos


George Antheil

(Album) - George Antheil - Bad Boy of Music with Marthanne Verbit, Piano

Wallingford Riegger

Album - Wallingford Riegger


Wendy Mae Chambers

Album - 12 Squared