Tom Baker has been active as a composer, performer, and music producer in the new-music scene since arriving in Seattle in 1994. He is the artistic director of the Seattle Composers’ Salon, co-founder of the Seattle EXperimental Opera (SEXO), and an advisory board member of the Washington Composers’ Forum. Baker’s works have been performed throughout the United States, Canada and in Europe. His two most recent chamber operas, The Gospel of the Red-Hot Stars (2006) and Hunger: The Journey of Tamsen Donner (2008), were both premiered by the Seattle EXperimental Opera and are available on the Present Sounds label. Baker has received numerous accolades for his work including awards and grants from Meet The Composer, the Seattle Arts Commission, King County Arts Commission, Artist Trust, and Jack Straw Cultural Center. He was also awarded a fellowship in 2006 as an associate artist-in-residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, where he spent three weeks working with composer and saxophonist Henry Threadgill.

In 2011, Baker was chosen to be a resident artist at the Montalvo Center in Saratoga, CA, where he completed the first in a series of ten quartets based on a book of stories by Italo Calvino. As a guitarist (on both fretted and unfretted instruments), Baker has appeared in concerts and recitals throughout the United States including Seattle, San Francisco and New York, as well as in The Netherlands. Baker earned his DMA in Composition from the University of Washington, where he studied composition with Chinary Ung, William O. Smith, and John Rahn. His music has been recorded on several labels, including Rosewood Recordings, Acoustic Levitation, Present Sounds Recordings, and Engine Records.

Artist Support Program 2015: Record and mix new compositions for solo piano and soprano, trumpet, and percussion.

Artist Support Program 2009 (with Seattle Experimental Opera): Record Hunger: The Journey of Tamsen Donner, a new opera about The Donner Party.

Artist Support Program 2006: Record Gospel of the Red-Hot Stars, an “operatorio” based on texts by Margaret Atwood.

Artist Support Program 2004: Record four song cycles for vocalists accompanied by various chamber groupings.

Artist Support Program 2002: Record a composition for string quartet and spoken word.

Artist Support Program 2000: Record a cycle of four songs for baritone, piano and cello, and a work for eight voices.

Close-up view of an instrument made from the parts of a piano. Wooden box with man small moving parts inside.

This Old Piano READ MORE >

Sound Clips
  • Tom Baker - Songs of Sleep and Dreams
    Tom Baker - Durmo
  • Tom Baker Quartet - Bit by Bit
  • Tom Baker - The Call for Reapers
  • Tom Baker - The Land Flattens
  • Tom Baker and Seattle Experimental Opera - Psalm Number 3
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