Carlos Bandera is a composer who is fascinated by musical architecture and by the music of the past. His recent music explores these fascinations, often by placing a musical quotation, be it a phrase, scale, or sonority, within dense microtonal textures.
Carlos’s music has been performed in the Faroe Islands, Scotland, Uzbekistan, China, and several spaces in the US, including Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall. He recently received the Underwood Commission from the American Composers Orchestra after his piece Lux in Tenebris was selected for the 2018 Underwood New Music Readings. Also in 2018, he attended CULTIVATE, where his piece Spirare was premiered, and attended Time of Music in Viitasaari, Finland, where he studied with Chaya Czernowin. Carlos has also attended the Fresh Inc Music Festival, where he studied composition with Dan Visconti and also attended the 2015 Wintergreen Summer Music Academy where he studied with Daron Hagen and Gilda Lyons and had his Florestan premiered by members of the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra.
In 2016, Carlos participated in the Peabody Opera Etudes program, leading to the premiere of his one-act chamber opera of church and state, based on the early activism of Madalyn Murray O’Hair. That year he also organized and participated in a workshop between Peabody composers and the Uzbekistan-based contemporary music ensemble, Omnibus Ensemble. Throughout his studies, he assembled many ensembles, ranging from string quartets to choirs, for both performances and recording sessions of his compositions. In 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.
In 2015, Carlos earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory and Composition from the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University, where he studied with Elizabeth Brown, Dean Drummond, and Marcos Balter. Carlos received his Master of Music degree in Composition in 2017 from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he participated in masterclasses with Christopher Rouse and Georg Friedrich Haas and studied privately with Kevin Puts.