- James Bash
(b Chicago, IL, Oct 13, 1967). American composer, pianist, and educator. Applebaum grew up in a musical family in Chicago. His father, Bob Applebaum, a high school physics teacher, studied classical music and composes. Applebaum graduated from Carleton College (BM 1989); his senior thesis took him to Mexico City to interview Conlon Nancarrow. He received his Masters (1992) and his Doctorate (1996) in composition from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), studying with Brian Ferneyhough, Joji Yuasa, RAND STEIGER, and ROGER REYNOLDS. He taught at USCD, Mississippi State University, and Carleton College before his current faculty position at Stanford University, where he also serves as the founding director of the Stanford Improvisation Collective.
Applebaum’s solo, chamber, choral, orchestral, operatic, and electro-acoustic work has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia at numerous new music festivals. His music is mercurial, highly detailed, disciplined, and exacting, but it also features improvisational and whimsical aspects. As such, he is considered as much in the experimentalist camp exemplified by composers such as Cage and Zappa as part of the European modernist lineage represented by his principal teacher Brian Ferneyhough. He has drawn inspiration from jazz pioneers and maverick composers such as Nancarrow and Partch, who found it necessary to use or invent unusual instruments to realize their artistic visions....