Bay Area composer Brien Henderson (b. 1977) has generated a body of work that reflects his love for medieval, Renaissance, and modern classical music, with influences such as Johannes Ockeghem, Cristóbal de Morales, J. S. Bach, and Igor Stravinsky.
His music favors lengthy melodies with prose-like rhythms over metric verse, a heavy dose of counterpoint, and his own trencadís technique of creating dynamic melodic lines out of short musical fragments. This music attempts to comfortingly disorient the listener, and ultimately move them, by combining familiar and foreign musical elements.
Several groups have workshopped and performed his music, including Court-Circuit, Ensemble Dal Niente, the Hausmann String Quartet, Ensemble Linea, Ensemble Signal, Slee Sinfonietta, and Sotto Voce Vocal Collective. In 2016, double bassist Megan McDevitt commissioned Brien's Confession for double bass, which she premiered at the University of Michigan in 2017.
Henderson holds a PhD in music composition from the University at Buffalo (2019), where he developed his trencadís and neo-Renaissance styles. Both of these are exemplified in his Missa Trencadís (2019) for SATB choir and ensemble, premiered at June in Buffalo 2019. Before Buffalo, he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music composition at San Francisco State University (2010 and 2013).