Tom Brennan was born in 1982 and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. At sixteen, he composed his first publicly performed piece, a prelude for string orchestra, which was played by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony as part of its Young and Emerging Composers series. Tom’s present compositional style is informed by a blend of 80’s and 90’s pop music, traditional musics of all kinds, and the music of the distant past from composers like Leonin, Machaut, and Tallis.
Tom has received commissions from the Washington Saxophone Quartet, soprano Dorothy Kingston and the Capitol Pride Symphonic Band. He is currently working on a setting of St. John of the Cross’s Cantico Espiritual, a commission for bassoon and choir from bassoonist Lynn Gaubatz. He is also collaborating with award-winning poet Sarah Mangold on a setting of her poem, Household Mechanics, as well as her complete chapbook, Parlor.
Tom lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He has studied composition at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Bowling Green State University and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. His teachers have been Alex Shapiro, Kenneth Frazelle, Mara Helmuth, Frederick Rzewski, Ellen Ruth Harrison and Mikel Kuehn. He also holds a BA in Art History from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
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