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Composer: Brubeck, Chris (b. 1952)

Fact file
Year of birth1952
NationalityUnited States
Period20th century
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America from Brubeck to Copland

Keith Lockhart © Michael Lutch
Prom 71's excursion across America contained some great music, but delivered less than it promised.
**111
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Biography

Chris Brubeck continues to distinguish himself as an innovative performer and composer. During the 70’s he began touring and recording with his father, Dave Brubeck. Chris plays bass, trombone, piano, guitar and sings and, in the past few decades, has earned international acclaim as composer, performer and leader of his own groups. On stage, his irrepressible enthusiasm is matched by his fluid command of jazz, blues, folk, funk, pop and classical musical styles. An award-winning composer, he is clearly tuned into the pulse of contemporary music. The respected music critic for The Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein calls Chris: “a composer with a real flair for lyrical melody--a 21st Century Lenny Bernstein.”


In the last decade, Chris has created an impressive body of symphonic work while maintaining a demanding touring and recording schedule with the Brubeck Brothers Quartet (with brother Dan on drums). Last year the BBQ released its second Koch recording, Classified which features Chris’s composition for woodwind quintet and the BBQ, “Vignettes for Nonet.” This innovative fusion of classical and jazz genres is performed with the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds. (Classified and the BBQ’s first Koch release, Intuition, were each in the top ten on jazz radio in 2007 and 2008.) Chris also continues to perform and record with Triple Play, an acoustic blues/jazz/folk trio with vocals that includes guitarist Joel Brown and harmonica virtuoso Peter Madcat Ruth.

Chris is a much sought-after composer, and has been commissioned to write many innovative works. April, 2009 marked the premiere of “Ansel Adams: America”, an exciting orchestral piece Chris and Dave Brubeck wrote accompanying 100 of Ansel Adams’ majestic images being projected above the orchestra. Among some of Chris’s other recent commissions are: “Quiet Heroes: A Symphonic Salute to the Flagraisers at Iwo Jima”, a moving piece for full orchestra and narrator; “Spontaneous Combustion”, a fiery violin concerto Chris wrote for the talented violin soloist Nicolas Kendall. “Mark Twain’s World: A Symphonic Journey with Genuine Thespians” was a genre-breaking piece for orchestra and actors based on the life of Mark Twain. Chris’s second Boston Pops commission, the exciting “Interplay for 3 Violins and Orchestra,” with performances by violinists Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (classical), Eileen Ivers (Irish) and Regina Carter (jazz) was broadcast on PBS “Evening at Pops” and won Chris an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for best composition for television broadcast. In November, 2007 Chris and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra premiered his “From the Blues to Beyond”, a concerto for trumpet and trombone with full orchestra.