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Bruce Babcock


Composer, Conductor, Orchestrator

Bruce Babcock is an Emmy-winning composer of music for television, film, and the concert stage. He has earned eight Emmy nominations for his work in television. A member of BMI, he has received eight BMI TV/Film Awards, and has conducted and orchestrated for such films as "King Kong," "Die Hard," "Lethal Weapon," and "Spider-Man 3" and for composers such as James Newton Howard, Michael Kamen, Christopher Young, Alan Silvestri, James Horner, Gabriel Yared, Jan Kaczmarek, Marc Shaiman, Don Davis, Shirley Walker, Mark Watters, David Newman, Edward Shearmur, Richard Bellis, Theodore Shapiro, and Mark Isham. His mentors in Hollywood included Hugo Friedhofer, Earle Hagen and Paul Glass.

Bruce holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in music composition from California State University, Northridge (CSUN). While still a student, Bruce won a Young Musicians Foundation (Los Angeles) competition for his "Music for String Orchestra." The piece was premiered by the Debut Orchestra of the Young Musicians Foundation, conducted by Calvin Simmons, at Schoenberg Hall, UCLA.

Bruce began his musical studies on clarinet and later concentrated on alto saxophone before making the transition to full-time composer. As a performer, he studied clarinet with George Rowe, retired clarinetist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and saxophone with William Calkins. He was a member of the All-California High School Orchestra. At CSUN his teachers included Aurelio de la Vega, George Skapski, Daniel Kessner and Frank Campo.

While at CSUN, Bruce's "Impasse" was performed for Aaron Copland during his 1975 residency. His comments on the piece, recorded for posterity, included "an impression of musicality which is very pleasant, indeed ... a convincing sense of an overall mood...knows what he wants ... sure of what he's doing."

Other larger concert works have been performed by the Kansas City Symphony ("Orchestral Sketches"), the San Francisco Chamber Players ("Initiation," for tenor and chamber orchestra, on texts of Rainer Maria Rilke, featuring Jonathan Mack of the Los Angeles Music Center Opera) and in such local venues as UCLA's Royce and Schoenberg Halls, the Bing Theater at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the City Hall Rotunda.

Bruce was composer in residence at the 2005 Santa Barbara Chamber Music Festival. His "Night Songs," was premiered by The Donald Brinegar Singers in January of 2006. The Debussy Trio 2010 album "Look Ahead" (Klavier Records) includes "SpringScape," the winning piece in their 2006 Composition Competition. His "irrational exuberance" is the first track on the 2008 Douglas Masek CD "EclectSax" (Centaur Records). His string quartet "the present moment" was performed in October of 2009 as part of the 30th Anniversary Season of the Armadillo String Quartet.

"All Unto Me" for a cappella choir, based on John 12:32 and dedicated to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, All Saints Church, Pasadena, California was performed at All Saints Church, Pasadena, California, with the Archbishop in attendance, on February 20, 2011.

"This Is What I Know" - Four Poems of Dorothy Parker, was a winning composition in the 2011 Boston Metro Opera Contemporary American Festival Competition, and was performed in Boston on May 6, 2011. This performance, the east coast premiere, was presented in conjunction with Opera Conference America 2011.

"Be Still," for a cappella choir, based on Psalm 46.10 received its European premiere on November 2, 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden by the Haga Motet Kor, Mikael Carlsson, music director.

Bruce's latest CD release (April 14, 2015) is TIME, STILL from Navona Records. Eleven Los Angeles musicians are featured in this collection of chamber, vocal, and choral music. Five of the pieces on this album were commissions and two were winners in international competitions. The album is available from Amazon and iTunes.

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Bruce Babcock


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