Photo: Kathleen Marshall

The culminating event of the evening concert, the world premiere of Drew Baker’s “NOX,” made listeners feel as if they were living inside a giant loudspeaker, surrounded by an otherworldly continuum of sound.
— Chicago Tribune
...through simple but effective means Baker draws up an imposing, and imaginative, soundscape.
— Fanfare Magazine
Stress Position is an album of piano music by Chicago based composer and pianist Drew Baker; it is brilliant. His way of writing for the piano is based on the sonorities—the unique sounds a piano makes and the idiosyncratic way a piano makes them. It is extremely inventive and aurally seductive, and each piece speaks with its own voice.
— American Record Guide

Artist Statement:

I aim to create pieces of music that immediately envelop and transport the listener. In much of my recent work, this visceral intensity is channeled through forms that slowly morph over time, allowing one to comfortably live within a musical texture while simultaneously sensing its transformation. There is a simplicity and directness to my music that often yields unexpected complexity.

-Drew Baker


Drew Baker (b. 1978) is a Chicago-based composer whose music explores the many sonic identities of conventional and novel instrumentations, often taking into account visual art and politics.

Baker's music has been performed on festivals and concert series around the world including the Ear Taxi Festival, Festival d'Automne à Paris, Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum, Musica Nova Helsinki, Havana's Festival Leo Brouwer, the Cortona Sessions, and the Nief-Norf Festival. The A/B Duo, Chamber Cartel, Ensemble21, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble Moto Perpetuo, Fonema Consort, The Group for Contemporary Music, h2 quartet, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Post-Haste Reed Duo, Seraphic Fire, and the Talea Ensemble have all performed Baker's music. His piano music has been programmed extensively by renowned artists including Amy Briggs, Jenny Q Chai, and Lisa Kaplan. Marilyn Nonken recorded his complete piano works on New Focus Recordings in 2011. The American Record Guide described the disc as "brilliant" and "extremely inventive and aurally seductive, each piece speaks with its own voice."

Baker earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music in Composition from Rice University, and a Doctor of Music in Composition from Northwestern University. His composition teachers have included Karim Al-Zand, Shih-Hui Chen, Jason Eckardt, Marti Epstein, and Augusta Read Thomas.