Christopher Brakel (b. 1977) is a Boston-based composer of acoustic and electroacoustic concert music, an educator/arts advocate, a music copyist/engraver, and a technology consultant.

To date, his concert works have been commissioned and performed across the United States, in Canada, Colombia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, and Italy. These performances have included prominent regional, national, and international festivals, conferences, and concerts, including the L.A. Composers Project, Darmstädter Ferienkurse, SEAMUS, and SCI National Conferences, FSU Festival of New Music, June in Buffalo, Midwest Composers Symposium, and the Czech-American Summer Music Institute.

Recordings and publications of his works can be found on: Centaur Records, PARMA Recordings, Firnspiegel Music (ASCAP), and qPress.

His collaborative multimedia works have been featured and awarded at festivals such as the Toronto Online Film Festival, Downstream International Film Festival, Not Still Art Festival, Boston CyberArts Festival, and ImageMovementSound.

Recognition for his work has been received through awards such as the Howard Hanson Large Ensemble Prize, the Henry and Parker Pelzer Prize in Composition, and annual ASCAP awards.

He holds advanced degrees in composition from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester (Ph.D.) and the University of Iowa (M.A.), and a B.A. in Music from the University of Minnesota, where he studied percussion and composition. Additionally, he is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society. Brakel has held teaching positions at Chapman University, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Iowa.

As a speaker, he has given lectures on Carlo Gesualdo and Georg Friedrich Haas (Monday Evening Concerts) and on Paul Celan and Contemporary Music (University of Colorado, Boulder and RochesterInk Poetry Festival). His research focuses on musical semiotics and the relationship(s) between music and poetry, with special emphasis on the poet Paul Celan, as well as the music of the Swedish composer Allan Pettersson.


Quadrants Vol. 5

Release Date: March 15, 2024
Catalog Number: NV6602
21st Century
String Quartet
The award-winning Benda Quartet assembles on QUADRANTS VOL. 5 to deliver a stunning, razor-sharp collection of contemporary string works. Composers Christopher J. Hoh, Ferdinando DeSena, Christopher Brakel, Michael Murray, and Paul Halley offer a wide range of sounds and emotions in this body of work, ranging from warm, elegant expressions to high-octane passages and more. This Navona Records release is also available as a visual album, filmed at the historic Dul Michal mine in Ostrava, CZ. Eloquent, precise, and hypnotic, QUADRANTS VOL. 5 is a crystal-clear reflection of the musical and technical heights of the string quartet genre.

Moto Quarto

Release Date: July 12, 2019
Catalog Number: NV6237
21st Century
String Quartet
Acclaimed international piano trio Trio Casals makes a triumphant return with the fourth installment of Navona Records' MOTO series, zestfully interpreting nine new American compositions – virtually all of them either tailor-made or arranged for the ensemble. The opening track, Three for Three by David Nisbet Stewart, could almost be considered a neoclassical piano trio – if you're thinking along the lines of Prokofiev's Love for Three Oranges. Like his Russian predecessor, Stewart chose to endow his composition with a perspicacious structure, along which the motives and modulations climb like vines on a trellis.