Sidney Bailin started composing when he was 6. His first piece was in three-part counterpoint, a fact that he still cannot explain. Imitative counterpoint remains a defining characteristic of his music, perhaps because of his early exposure to species counterpoint, which he learned formally at the age of 10.
He entered Juilliard when he was 15, studying piano with Ania Dorfmann and composition with Hall Overton. The following year, he began private piano coaching with Jeaneane Dowis. After high school he enrolled full-time at Juilliard, studying composition with Roger Sessions and Otto Luening. But then, becoming more and more interested in mathematics, he moved to Columbia University, first as a double major in music and mathematics, then dropping the music. Thus started what he now views as a decades-long exile from music.
Eventually, Bailin received a doctorate in Mathematical Logic from the University of Oxford. His activity since then has been wide ranging: publishing papers on computer topics, writing an award-winning film script, working as a skydiving instructor and now, to this day, as a karate instructor. But in 2003 he felt the call to return to composing, and he now finds himself at the top of his compositional and creative powers.