The Catholic University of America

Robert A. Baker, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Theory and Composition


Robert A. Baker (Ph.D., M.Mus., McGill University; B.Mus., University of Toronto; A.R.C.T. Piano Performance, Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto) is a composer, theorist and teacher. His music has been performed at festivals and conferences in North America and Europe including: the St. Magnus, the York Spring New Music, and Didsbury Arts Festivals (UK); Jihlava International Choral Festival (Czech Republic); Festival "Giuseppe Rosetta" (Italy); Canadian Contemporary Music Workshop, Canadian Music Centre Professional Readings Series, and New Music North (Canada); Society of Composers, Inc., College Music Society, FSU Biennial Festival of New Music, and Miami New Music ISCM Festival (USA).

An award winner and finalist in international composition competitions, including “Jihlava 2000” International Choral Composition Competition (Czech Rep.), the 6th International Composition Competition, “Città di Udine” 2006 (Italy), Free Style Composition Competition (England),
and Choral Arts Ensemble Minnesota (USA), Baker’s compositions have also been supported by the Maryland State and Toronto Arts Councils, and
published by Chanterelle (Allegra-Musikverlag, Germany) and SCI Journal of Music Scores.

Baker is also an experienced concert organizer and an active conductor of new music, having conducted numerous contemporary music ensembles in Canada and the United States, including toneART ensemble (Toronto, 1999-2003; Co-Founder), and Newprism Ensemble (Baltimore, 2011-12; Founder). Most recently, he served as conductor for the CUA Contemporary Music Ensemble in the CUA 2014 New Voices Festival, and since then has been a regular conductor for SONAR New Music Ensemble (Baltimore).

Primary research interests are 20th-Century music analysis and philosophies on the perception of musical time and form. Baker’s research and theories on operatic spatiotemporality have led to a published article (“Spaces and Places of Opera”, Circuit musiques contemporaines, December 2007, Vol. 17, no. 3), and paper presentations at College Music Society conferences in the United States, an organization for which he currently serves as Theory Area Chair for the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Prior to joining The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music in 2013, he was on faculty at McGill, Salisbury and Towson Universities, and was Adjunct Assistant Professor at Anne Arundel Community College, where he taught numerous theory and composition related courses.

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Excerpts from selected compositions by Robert A. Baker: 

  Wings and Engines, for solo violin and orchestra (2nd mvt. excerpt)
Esprit Orchestra; M. Berard, violin; A. Pauk, conductor

  String Quartet #2 (excerpt) Madawaska Quartet

  Valence III for oboe, cello, and percussion

  Valence IV for clarinet, trumpet, percussion, piano, violin and cello.
Newprism Ensemble, R. Baker, conductor (excerpt)