The Kennedy Center

Claude Baker


American composer Claude Baker was born in the small town of Lenoir, North Carolina on April 12, 1948. He began his musical training with his junior high school band, playing first the euphonium, and later switching to trombone, which became his principal instrument.

Baker attended East Carolina University for his undergraduate studies, receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in 1970, and a DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) degree from the Eastman School of Music in 1975. His first composition was a duo for flute and clarinet, when he was 21 years old. Since that time he has received numerous commissions from the most prestigious foundations and musical organizations world-wide. In 1996 the National Symphony Orchestra commissioned and premiered his song cycle for soprano and orchestra, "Into The Sun". His most recent work, "Maerchenbilder" (Fairy Tale Images) was premiered by the Indianapolis Symphony in May, 2005.

His works have been performed by world-class symphonies in America and abroad, including the New York Philharmonic, Orquesta Nacional de Espanola, as well as the National Symphony. He served as composer in residence at the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra from 1991 to 1999. Over the course of his career he has been awarded numerous prizes, including grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award (twice), and the Manuel de Falla Prize in Madrid.

Baker currently serves on the faculty of the Indiana University School of Music as Chairman of the Department of Composition.
Claude Baker


  • Into the Sun