Brien Henderson


Composer Brien Henderson

I combine modern, medieval, and Renaissance techniques to create elegant music that flows like prose and sounds familiar, but disorienting, and plays on the tension between the eternal and ephemeral. Music is temporary: it moves through time. It also manipulates our perception of time. In using techniques from several eras and referencing sacred music, my hope is to warp the listener's perception to give them a spiritual experience that moves them closer to the eternal.

I hold bachelor's and master's degrees from San Francisco State University, where I studied composition with Richard Festinger, Christopher Wendell Jones, and Benjamin Sabey. In 2008, I studied composition with RObert Beaser at the European American Musical Alliance. I hold a composition PhD from University at Buffalo, where I studied principally with David Felder and took master classes with Eric Moe, Hilda Paredes, and Aaron Cassidy. A three-time attendee of June In Buffalo, I have taken master classes from several other reputed composers, including Brian Ferneyhough, Lei Lang, Augusta Read Thomas, and several more listed in my CV.

Ensembles that have performed my music include Court-Circuit, Ensemble Dal Niente, the Hausmann String Quartet, Ensemble Linea, Ensemble Signal, and Sotto Voce Vocal Collective.


Missa Trencadís

2019 | SATB choir and ensemble (oboe, clarinet/bass clarinet, percussion, violin, viola, 'cello, double bass)

Noli esse vana

2018 | SAATB choir


2017 | double bass

Obscured In The Light of Time

2015 | flute, clarinet, trombone, piano, violin, viola, 'cello, percussion

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