In recent years Paul Brantley’s compositions have been performed or commissioned by The Knights (at Tanglewood, BRIC, Dumbarton Oaks and Naumburg Concerts), Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, Horszowski Trio, Flux Quartet, New Esterhazy Quartet, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, U.C. Berkeley Chamber Chorus (on tour), Monadnock Music Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, St. Bartholomew’s Summer Festival of Sacred Music, The Young People’s Chorus of NYC, Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas (NYCO’s Town Hall), Left Bank Ensemble (Kennedy Center), Ethel (Kimmel Center), Excelsior Trombone Ensemble (NPRO’s Performance Today), The Goliard Ensemble on tour, The Manhattan School of Music Symphony, Belladonna (Schubert Club, St. Paul, MN), L’Opera du Village (Pourrieres, France), SONYC (the Kitchen), and as featured composer on these various series: Bargemusic, Ecstatic Music, The Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Society, HVG, North River, MOAB, MOSA and Concerts in the Heights.
Recent premieres and performances include Brantley’s cello concertino, The Royal Revolver, with cellist Eric Jacobsen (The Knights) and the University of Michigan Symphony conducted by Kenneth Kiesler. The premiere recording of his Filles de l’ƒlysee, for cello and classical guitar appears on the new Boyd Meets Girl CD (Sono Luminous/Naxos). Alienor Competition commission, Yeeremynd for solo harpsichord, was premiered by Steven Beck. The Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra (NYC) with soprano Jennifer Zetlan gave the 25th anniversary performance of his On the Pulse of Morning (a setting of Maya Angelou’s inaugural poem). At the 92nd St Y soprano Ariadne Greif and pianist Steven Beck gave the premiere of Four American Songs; and alto-flutist Alice Teyssier and classical guitarist Dan Lippel premiered Apollo Architectons, builder of shelters and bridges. Brantley recently received a Centennial Celebration Commission from The Curtis Institute of Music.
Brantley is a six-time MacDowell Colony Fellow who has also received fellowships from Banff Centre and Anderson Center. Brantley has been composer-in-residence for Monadnock Music Festival, Gabriel Faure Conservatoire (Angoulme, France), Goliard Ensemble, Yara Arts Group, The Seal Bay Festival, Children’s Choral Celebration, Sewanee Music Festival, Washington and Lee University, and the Sophia Institute at Union Theological Seminary in NYC. He has given composition seminars at Yale School of Music, Hunter College (Anthropology Dept.), The University of Georgia Hugh Hodgson School of Music, and The University of Michigan School of Music.
Brantley has received solo or chamber instrumental performances by such artists as cellists Larry Figg, Eric Jacobsen, Laura Metcalf, Peter Seidenberg and Peter Stumpf; double-bassist/soprano, Maggie Hasspacher, flutists Laura Gilbert, Nathalie Joachim, Marya Martin, Alex Sopp, Jessica Taskov, Alice Tessier; classical guitarist, Dan Lippel, pianists Rieko Aizawa, Steve Beck, Jeremy Denk, Ada Gorbunova, Arielle Levioff, Pedja Muzijevic, Jeewon Park, Catherine Schneider, Liza Stepanova, and Kathleen Tagg; violinists Cornelius Dufallo, Jesse Mills, Yi Bin Li (for her Carnegie Hall debut); and ensembles Cassatt Quartet, Flux Quartet, Ethel, Horszowski Trio, Music of the Spheres, and New Esterhazy Quartet.
His vocal music has been sung by Tony Arnold, Janna Baty, Jeanine de Bique, Amy Blake, Karen Burlingame, Rachel Calloway, Ilana Davidson, Abigail Fischer, Ariadne Greif, Maggie Hasspacher, Alexander Hurd, Sharla Nafziger, Daisy Press, and Jennifer Zetlan.
His orchestral music has been performed by the Atlanta Symphony, Augusta Symphony, Curtis Institute Symphony Orchestra, Eastman School of Music String Orchestra, Illinois Symphony, The Knights, Manhattan School of Music Symphony, The Memphis Symphony, University of Michigan Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, Reno Philharmonic, Sewanee Festival Orchestra, SONYC, and Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra (NYC).
Multifaceted musician, Brantley has performed or recorded as solo cellist with Trey Anastasio (Phish), Cantata Profana, CITH, Cassatt Quartet, Jeff Coffin Mutet, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Dave Gregory (XTC), Heartbeat Opera, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, and Lenny White. Brantley has arranged and/or conducted for David Binney, Ethel, Todd Rundgren, and Christian Scott.
His theatre credits include playing cello and guitar on Broadway (Carousel, Groundhog Day), as premiere composer and multi-instrumentalist in the Off-Broadway Tennessee Williams 1982 (Playhouse Creatures); cellist in The Evolution of Mann (show and cast recording) composer and cellist in Off Off Broadway LaMaMa/Yara Arts productions, Swan and Winter Lights; as composer and cellist for Roman Fever (Pythagoras Theater, Berkshires); as composer and cellist for Syracuse Stage productions Our Country’s Good and The Maid’s Tragedy; and as onstage cellist in Yale Rep’s Winter’s Tale and Autumn Sonata in which he appeared as Leonardo.
Paul studied at Manhattan School of Music: Pablo Casals AwardÓ (B.M), Curtis Institute (diploma), Eastman School of Music: Howard Hanson Prize,Sernoffsky Prize (M.M.) as well as Fontainebleau, Tanglewood, and The Yellow Barn where he was later artist faculty. His principal teachers include Samuel Adler, Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Eicher, Alan Harris, Betsy Jolas, Leon Kirchner, David Loeb, Ned Rorem, and David Wells.
He co-founded the Seal Bay Festival of American Music and was artist faculty at Yellow Barn Music Festival for many years. In addition to positions at Syracuse University and Washington and Lee University, Brantley was a Manhattan School of Music faculty member from 2000 to 2014.
Paul Brantley currently resides in New York City where he free-lances as a composer, cellist, and conductor. His music is published by Bill Holab Music and Oxford University Press. He has recorded solo cello for Sony/Columbia, Rounder, Warner Bros., Polydor, Compass, and others. He is director and cellist for The Mercury Chamber Players.