Drew Baker

We commissioned the Chicago based composer Drew Baker to write a piece for us. We will be premiering "Limb" (scored for contrabass flute, piccolo, vibraphone, crotales and Thai gongs) in Chicago on December 1, 2013.


Drew Baker’s music has always intrigued Chris so we put his name on the short list of composers that we wanted to commission. The frailty, the beauty, but also the depth of his sound world is exactly the type of music we wanted for our first commissioning project.


Photo Courtesy of Drew Baker


Drew Baker is a Chicago-based composer and pianist. Described by the American Record Guide as "extremely inventive," Baker's music explores the many sonic identities of conventional and unconventional instrumentations, often taking into account visual art and politics.

Baker's complete piano music was recently recorded by renowned pianist Marilyn Nonken and released on New Focus Recordings. Additionally, his works have been performed by a number of leading contemporary music ensembles including H2 Quartet, The Talea Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Ensemble Dal Niente, The Group for Contemporary Music, Ensemble21, and Chicago Chamber Musicians.

Baker earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music in Composition from Rice University and a Doctor of Music in Composition from Northwestern University. His primary composition teachers have included Marti Epstein, Augusta Read Thomas, Shih-Hui Chen, Karim Al-Zand and Jason Eckardt.

For more information about Drew and to see what he's up to visit http://www.drewbakermusic.com/ 


A/B:  Any pre/during/post composition rituals?

Drew:  Nicaraguan cigars - all 3

A/B:  Favorite drink after finishing a composition?

Drew:  Laphroaig

A/B: Stay-cation or vacation?

Drew:  In my studio

A/B: Rom-com or Action-Thriller?

Drew:  French gangster movies

A/B: Nsync or Backstreet?

Drew:  I suppose Justin Timberlake is funny

A/B: Cake or Pie?

Drew:  Chocolate

A/B: Favorite live musical moment?

Drew:  Tough one. I'll go with Thomas Quasthoff singing Kindertotenlieder with the Chicago Symphony in 2006

A/B: Apple or Microsoft?

Drew:  Apple

A/B: Sibelius or Finale?

Drew:  Neither - hand-written or Lilypond

A/B: Favorite Artist?

Drew:  2 names: Anselm Kiefer and Cy Twombly

A/B: Favorite Book?

Drew:  Currently: Dirty Snow by Simenon

A/B: Ideal vacation spot?

Drew:  A place that has warm weather, excellent food and no distractions

A/B: Guilty pleasure?

Drew:  I feel no guilt over any of my pleasures

A/B: Favorite Sesame Street character?

Drew:  Guy Smiley

A/B: Favorite breakfast food?

Drew:  Tie -- Biscuits and gravy, Chilaquiles

A/B: Your proudest moment?

Drew:  Marrying my wife

A/B: Vinyl, cassette tape, compact discs, or mp3?

Drew:  Vinyl

A/B: Name one item on your bucket list.

Drew:  Composing/producing an opera

A/B: Favorite movie?

Drew:  Le Samourai

A/B: Your first LP, tape, CD, etc. purchase?

Drew:  I have no idea