Born in Princeton, N.J., Bruce Hodges grew up in Texas among a family of classical music fans and singers, and studied art, violin, and voice. Playlist, age 16: Berio Sinfonia, Reich Violin Phase, Riley A Rainbow in Curved Air, Nancarrow Studies for Player Piano, Partch Castor and Pollux, Kagel Der Schall.
At Antioch College he studied visual art with Jonathan Ahearn and music composition with David Stock, founder of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. Bruce later earned a B.F.A. in drawing and painting from the University of North Texas, where he studied with Henry Whiddon and Claudia Betti. He moved to New York in 1981.
During the 1980s and 1990s he was executive director and board president of the New York Consortium for New Music (Continuum, Da Capo Chamber Players, ModernWorks, The New York New Music Ensemble, Newband, and Speculum Musicae), which from 1991 through 2002 produced Sonic Boom, “considered by some to be the country’s leading contemporary music festival.” (The New Yorker) During the 1990s, he was also president of the board of directors of Ensemble Sospeso, the new music ensemble that presented groundbreaking concerts of works by Pierre Boulez, Elliott Carter, Helmut Lachenmann, Tristan Murail, Wolfgang Rihm, and Iannis Xenakis.
He has interviewed composers Jason Eckardt, Toshio Hosokawa, Olga Neuwirth, and Agata Zubel, among others, for the Miller Theatre at Columbia University, the Look & Listen Festival, and the Austrian Cultural Forum.
A lifelong writer, from 2007 to 2015 Bruce wrote a column on recordings for The Juilliard Journal, and from 2003-2020 he wrote articles for Seen and Heard International (London), and served as its North American editor. Since 2012 he has written for The Strad, also based in London. He has also contributed articles to Lincoln Center, Playbill, New Music Box, London’s Southbank Centre, Strings, and Overtones, the magazine of the Curtis Institute of Music. He currently lives in Philadelphia.
Among wide-ranging interests, Bruce has a deep love for film, photography, contemporary art and architecture, cooking, and New Orleans jazz and food. He has also been known to craft the occasional sonnet.
Recorded by the Los Angeles Philharmonic (with Gustavo Dudamel at the helm), Thomas Adès' 'Dante' is a relentlessly fascinating ballet. Bruce Hodges gives it a close listen in our Album of the Week review.
The Crossing continues to cement its adventurous reputation with 'Titration,' a choral cycle composed by Shara Nova. Read our Album of the Week review.
Danish composer Bent Sørensen's St Matthew Passion, made with the Norwegian Soloists' Choir, is more than a fresh take on a sacred tradition — it's one of the most striking large choral works in recent memory.
Aaron Copland's ode to Abraham Lincoln has long captured the popular imagination, in myriad interpretations. Its message feels pointedly relevant on this Election Day.
Born on Sept. 28, 1922, the Philadelphia composer Romeo Cascarino created works with an unmistakable mid-20th-century character. His centennial is an opportunity for reappraisal.