The music of composer Marcos Balter (b.1974, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) has been described by critics as "vital, imaginative, (...) surrealistic" [New York Times], "a virtuosic equilibrium of colliding particles (with) both intricate clarity and convincing trajectory" [Boston Globe], "utterly lovely" [Chicago Tribune], and "delicate" and "transportive" [Time Out Chicago]. His works have been championed by many of today's most prestigious and adventurous new music ensembles, performers, and organizations such as the Meet the Composer Foundation, Chicago Symphony Orchestra's MusicNow, Carnegie Hall's Ensemble ACJW, and the Fromm Concert Series at Harvard University, among others. Past awards and honors include the Leonard Bernstein Fellowship at the 2005 Tanglewood Music Cente, and performances at the World Saxophone Congress and the Lockenhaus Kammermusikfestival, as well as first prizes at several national and international composition competitions. Previous recordings of his works include Nadia Sirota's "First Things First" (New Amsterdam Records), nominated by both the New York Times and Time Out New York as one of the top-10 classical record releases of 2009.
His main composition teachers were Augusta Read Thomas, Amy Williams, and Jay Alan Yim. He has also taken lessons in festivals and master classes in Europe and North America with Pierre Boulez, Tristan Murail, Enno Poppe, Wolfgang Rihm, and Kaija Saariaho.
Projects in 2010-2011 include performances in New York City, Baltimore, Bangkok, Boston, Chicago, Darmstadt, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis, by the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Spektral Quartet, the Anubis Saxophone Quartet, Chicago Symphony Orchestra's MusicNow, the dal niente ensemble, violist Nadia Sirota, saxophonists Eric Hewitt and Ryan Muncy, and clarinetist Michael Norsworthy.
He is currently the Director of the Music Composition program at Columbia College Chicago.