Carlos Bandera is a composer who is fascinated by the architecture of J.S. Bach, the immensity of Anton Bruckner, and the ethereal simplicity of Arvo Pärt. His music, through the use of large structural and historical forms in a predominantly tonal language, reflects this fascination. His music is frequently performed at venues across the east coast. Recently, his Writer’s Block for String Quartet was performed at the East China Normal University in Shanghai and Tetractys for Flute, Clarinet, and Bassoon was premiered at Constellation in Chicago. He also sang at Carnegie Hall in the premiere of his Ubi Caritas, the winning score of the 2014 Cali Choral Composition Competition, with the Montclair State University (MSU) Singers under the direction of Dr. Heather Buchanan.
Enthusiasm and support for his music from colleagues at MSU allowed him to assemble several ensembles ranging from string quartets to choirs for both performances and recording sessions of his compositions. In March of 2015 he organized two concerts featuring performances of his Mass for Soloists, SSATB Choir, and String Orchestra with an ensemble of 50 musicians that he assembled, rehearsed, and conducted. While most of the ensembles he has conducted he also organized, he has also conducted the MSU Symphony Orchestra during a performance of excerpts of Beethoven’s Second Symphony. In addition to his experience as a conductor, he occasionally appears as a pianist for performances of both his solo and chamber music.
In May 2015 he earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Theory and Composition, Magna Cum Laude, from the John J. Cali School of Music at MSU where he studied with Elizabeth Brown, Dean Drummond, and Marcos Balter. In addition to composition, he studied piano with Soyeon Kim and conducting with Ken Lam. He has participated in reading sessions with the Montclair State University Symphony Orchestra, Vocal Accord, and the Shanghai String Quartet. In the summer of 2015, he attended the Fresh Inc Music Festival where he worked with the Fifth-House Ensemble and studied composition with Dan Visconti. He also attended the 2015 Wintergreen Summer Music Academy where he studied with Daron Hagen, Gylda Lyons, and had his Florestan premiered by members of the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra. He is currently a graduate student at The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University where he studies with Kevin Puts.
His favorite place to compose is at his family’s house in Yunquera, a beautiful town nestled in the mountains of southern Spain and he thoroughly enjoys fugues.
for flute, clarinet, bassoon