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Saxophone on Music Sheet


Chris Bassett is a Baltimore-based composer of concert music and music for film, theatre, and multimedia.  No one has gotten around to calling Chris something quote-worthy like "a bold new musical voice for his generation," but his mother once called him "the Derek Jeter of music," so there's that.  

Chris’ music has been featured on PBS and Maryland Public Television, Baltimore's ARTScape Festival, and various independent films in Baltimore, DC, and New York City.  His concert music has been commissioned by the Excelsior Trombone Ensemble, Lisa Albrecht, Spotlighters Theatre, the St. Paul's School theatre program, the Dulaney High School Concert Strings, and the Newtown High School (CT) Choral Program. His brass quintet "Schmlud's Last Ride" was a winner of the Brass Initiative composition prize.

Chris studied composition with Chris Theofanidis at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, and with Justin Dello Joio and Ken Valitsky (Walicki) at New York University, where he was personally selected by composer Alan Menken to be the first recipient of the Alan Menken award.  At Peabody, Chris was the receipient of the Denes & Mary Agay Piano & Composition Scholarship and the Randolph S. Rothschild Award for Composition.   

Chris currently lives in Baltimore with his wife, Laurel, and two children. He teaches Digital Instrumental Music at Carver Center for Arts & Technology, and composes and conducts for various ensembles and productions in the Baltimore-Washington area.  

In his spare time Chris enjoys writing autobiographical statements in third-person.

Bio : Bio


"...The music had the cardinal virtue of variety, running the gamut between lyricism and drama... There were numerous wonderful moments ... Most importantly, these were MUSICAL moments in which the music perfectly realizes a structure that has been concieved as part of a dramatic whole..." -Roger Brunyate, Peabody Opera director

"Chris Bassett crystallizes his unique sense of rhythm, knowledge of each instrument's color, and sense of humor into one piece." - Yusuke "Thousand Leaves" Iwasaki, Composer

"...this kind of writing is very bold...  It is so unabashedly present and free. One might even call it 'unapologetic.'" - Jamie Kowalski, composer

"Stravinsky on schnapps..." - Bill S.

"...The pieces displayed a keen use of rhythm and timing; Chris managed to keep the music--which would have been compelling even without the dialogue--independent while it also served to illustrate and punctuate the verse." -Sarah Kirkland Snider, Composer

"...most definitely a strong and challenging new work for our instrument. ... Congratulations on a high-quality new work." 

"...soon performers are making music - Stomp-style - using everything from salt shakers to crockery, not to mention creating mini-dramas enacted by staplers, pens and pencils.

... Chris Bassett (a cast member as well) has created some catchy percussion riffs." - J. Wynn Rousuck, Baltimore Sun

"My grandson is a genius!" -my grandmother

Bio : CV
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