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Glenn Branca

Glenn Branca (1948 - 2018) was an American guitarist and composer. In Boston, he studied performance art at Emerson College and then moved to New York to participate as a guitarist in bands such as The Static and Theoretical Girls.

He became known especially for his monumental orchestral works, composing 16 symphonies, an opera, a ballet, music for film, theater and dance, works for chamber orchestra of various instrumentations, including electronic sound generators and sound installations. His roots, however, came from guitar-heavy rock music, which he knew how to arrange and perform debauchedly. He had a strongly avant-garde approach, combining musical concepts such as minimal music and drone music, and making extensive use of scordatura and distortion.

Branca gained great popularity and is considered a very influential musician in both experimental and alternative rock, as well as in contemporary classical music. He has had numerous, international performances together with different ensembles and band projects and has received several awards, including by the New York Foundation for the Arts (1998-99) and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (2009-10). He has also been active in the field of music theory, developing the concept of Harmonic Guitar.


Works for listening