Marcos Balter

Marcos Balter has been featured at ACO’s SONiC Festival in 2011, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, New World Symphony Center, Teatro Amazonas, Morgan Library, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, among others. Past honors include commissions from Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America, The Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, The Holland/America Music Society, The MacArthur Foundation, and the Art Institute of Chicago, fellowships from the Tanglewood Music Center/Leonard Bernstein Foundation and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation (USA/Italy), as well as first prizes in several national and international composition competitions. Former composition teachers include Augusta Read Thomas, Amy Williams, and Jay Alan Yim. Having previously taught at the University of Pittsburgh, Northwestern University, and Lawrence University, Balter is currently the Director of the Music Composition program at Columbia College Chicago. For more information visit

His piece commissioned by ACO, Favela, takes its title and inspiration from the term used to describe “shantytowns” in Brazil, the composer’s native country. He explains, “The piece creates a big sonic shantytown, with ‘musical shacks’ that are at once independent from one another and connected by a sense of unity. Each ‘musical shack’ musically mimics the makeshift-like construction of actual shacks, with different kinds of material (instruments and performers) being as fully optimized as possible, some more modest, and some more developed than others.”