Balee Pongklad, composer
Balee Pongklad was born in Bangkok, Thailand. His high school music fraternity had little impact on his earliest music interest. Balee seemed set on becoming an architect after he finished high school. However, urged to pursue music studies in college by his father, he firmly decided on the life of a musician.
Balee started composing when he was in his junior year. He mainly wrote for wind instruments, as they were reminiscent of his high school years as a French horn player. When Balee came to the United States for the graduate schools, he chose to pursue a composition major. He was exposed to several different philosophies of music composition from many engaging professors. As he has grown more as a composer and his musical style has developed, he often thinks of the audience and the function his music is intended to have for his audience. He also believes that his music should powerfully evoke a positive emotional response in the listener.
In 2013, Balee collaborated with a well-known euphonium player Demondrae Thurman whose CD album SNAPSHOTS featured his work In (out of) Sync written for oboe, euphonium and piano. His solo violin Ride was also recorded and released on the CD album Early Musings by Davis Brook in 2016. Balee has received awards and recognitions from Minnesota Orchestra Music Institute, the Society of Composer, and the United State Army Band Pershing’s Own. Three of his chamber works are published by Potenza Music Publishing.
Balee earned his doctoral degree in composition from the University of Alabama where he studied with C.P. First. He also received master and bachelor degrees in music from San Francisco State University and Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, respectively. Balee now lives in Missouri.