Applauded by Aaron Copland, inspired by Desmond Tutu, and mentored by Hugo Friedhofer and Earle Hagen, Bruce Babcock has spent his working life composing music for the musicians of Los Angeles. Successful in both film and television, and the concert hall, he is known for vibrant, sonorous, expressive pieces that immerse audience and performers alike in an inclusive and exuberant celebration of the musical art.
Bruce holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in music composition from California State University, Northridge. While at CSUN, Bruce’s Impasse was performed for Aaron Copland during his 1975 residency. Copland’s comments on the piece, recorded for posterity, include “an impression of musicality which is very pleasant, indeed…a convincing sense of an overall mood…knows what he wants…sure of what he’s doing.”
In 2011, Bruce’s choral piece All Unto Me, composed for and inspired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, was performed at All Saints Church, Pasadena, with the Archbishop in attendance.
His music has been performed and/or recorded by Grammy winners Gloria Cheng, Hila Plitmann, and The Crossing, in addition to Calvin Simmons, the Donald Brinegar Singers, Juliana Gondek, the Debussy Trio, the Antioch Ensemble, Pacific Serenades, the Artea Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco, the Kansas City Symphony, the Haga Motettkör of Göteborg, Sweden, the Space Coast Symphony, the Altius Quartet, the Sirius Quartet, the Armadillo Quartet Lindsey Goodman, Ovidiu Marinescu, Anna Kislitsyna, Armen Ksajikian, Robert Thies, Doug Masek, James Walker, and Jonathan Mack.
Babcock’s music has been performed at Carnegie Hall, Boston Metro Opera, the Herbst Theater in San Francisco, the Santa Barbara Chamber Music Festival (as composer in residence), the Beverly Hills International Music Festival (three seasons), Schoenberg Hall and Royce Hall at UCLA, the Bing Theater at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Rotunda at the Los Angeles City Hall, Mason Home Concerts in Los Angeles, on tour in China, and inside the dome of the 100-inch telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory near Pasadena CA.
His concert music may be found on the Navona, Klavier, Centaur, and Mother Goose labels.
Babcock’s mentors in Hollywood included Hugo Friedhofer, Paul Glass, and Earle Hagen. He won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Composition for a Series in 1992, one of eight total Emmy nominations in a 10-year period, as well as eight TV/Film awards from BMI.