Balee Pongklad, composer
Balee Pongklad was born in Bangkok, Thailand. He 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 graduate school, 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 them. 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 piece 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 Composers, and the United State Army Band “Pershing’s Own.”
Balee earned his D.M.A. in music composition at the University of Alabama, M.A. in music composition at San Francisco State University and B.A. in music at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. His primary composition teachers include Ronald Caltabiano, Richard Festinger and C.P. First.