Garth Baxter

Composer - BCF Officer

Composer Garth Baxter is noted for his modern traditionalist style of writing. This is a style that combines the traditions of form and clear melodic writing with the use of contemporary approaches to harmonies and other elements.  He is recognized as one of the preeminent composers of art songs and has been described as an unabashed lyrical, tonal composer. 

Baxter was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1946, and moved to California when he was nine years old. He earned music degrees from Pepperdine University and California State University at Northridge. He studied composition with Robert Hall Lewis, Joseph Wagner, and William Thornton.  In addition to writing music, Baxter currently teaches and mentors emerging composers.     

Baxter’s compositions for chorus, orchestra, symphonic band, piano, organ, flute, voice, and guitar, as well as other instrumental combinations, have been performed throughout the world.  His music has been featured on radio and on-line programs worldwide.  He has received numerous awards, commissions, and honors. His song cycle, “From the Heart: Three American Women” (Columbia Music Company) was the topic of a doctoral dissertation. Mr. Baxter recently completed the opera, Lily, with librettist Lisa VanAuken.

His recording, ASK THE MOON, works for voice and piano by Garth Baxter, released January 2018 by PARMA Recordings (Navona), has been praised worldwide.  The recording Katherine Keem Sings Songs and Arias by Garth Baxter, was released fall 2014 by Centaur Records and has been acclaimed for its significant contribution to the voice and guitar repertoire.  

A new recording of Baxter’s instrumental works, Resistance, was released from PARMA Recordings (Navona) February 8, 2019 and has received wonderful reviews and numerous airplays. 

Baxter’s works are published by Columbia Music Company, ALRY Publications, Les Productions D’OZ, Doberman-YPPan, Guitar Chamber Music Press, Mel Bay Publications and Theodore Presser.