October 6, 1948 - May 13, 2018

Email --- Biography --- Mailing List ---Ensemble
List of performances 2000-2016 under construction

We lost Glenn to throat cancer on May 13, 2018.
Read Reg Bloor's public statement:

The Glenn Branca Ensemble is available for performances of his work.

New and Upcoming


July 17. Reg Bloor wrote an article for Sound American magazine about the first performance of Glenn Branca's Symphony No. 13.

POSTPONED. -- May 1. Brooklyn, NY. Bang On A Can LONG PLAY Festival venue TBA 9pm. Pieces from "The Third Ascension". The Glenn Branca Ensemble


September 19. Cambridge, MA. Lewis Music Library at MIT 5pm. Composers Forum with Reg Bloor discussing her work with Glenn Branca

September 20. Cambridge, MA. Kresge Auditorium at MIT "The Third Ascension" and "The Light (for David)".
The Glenn Branca Ensemble.
Arad Evans, Reg Bloor, Scott Collins, Luke Schwartz - Guitars, Greg McMullen - Bass, Libby Fab - Drums, Brendon Randall-Myers - Conductor
and "Free Form" and the first movement of "Symphony No. 14: 2,000,000,000 Light Years from Home", performed by the Ambient Orchestra under the direction of Evan Ziporyn

October 6. Brooklyn, NY. Saint Vitus "The Third Ascension" and "The Light (for David)".
The Glenn Branca Ensemble.
Arad Evans, Reg Bloor, Scott Collins, Luke Schwartz - Guitars, Greg McMullen - Bass, Libby Fab - Drums, Brendon Randall-Myers - Conductor
The release of "The Third Ascension" on SYSTEMS NEUTRALIZERS on what would have been Glenn's 71st Birthday.

1. Velvets And Pearls
2. German Expressionism
3. The Smoke (Guitar Concerto for Arad Evans)
4. Lesson No. 4
5. Twisting In Space
Cold Thing (La Belle Dame sans Merci)

on Bandcamp, MVD and wherever music is sold

March 06, New York, NY Merkin Concert Hall. "Movement Within" Bang on a Can All-Stars


November 08 - 11, Philadelphia, PA. Symphony No. 2 First Movement will be used as part of the ballet piece "This Divide" by Russell Ducker for the Pennsylvania Ballet.


June 2, Melbourne, Australia, Melba Hall. Symphony Nos. 8 & 10 (The Mysteries) University of Melbourne Ensemble.

October 14, Brooklyn, NY, Park Church Co-op. "The Blood" Quiet City Ensemble.
Luke Schwartz, Greg McMullen, Reg Bloor, Arad Evans - Guitars, Brian Karp - Bass, Sarah Mullins - Drums

OUT NOW. Great new book We Sing A New Language: The Oral Discography of Thurston Moore by Nick Souldby with Comments by Glenn.


February 23-24. NYC, THE KITCHEN. "The Third Ascension" (revised with American and world premieres).
The Glenn Branca Ensemble

March 9. KOLN, Germany "Dark Harmony" (Music for 4 Cellos) The Octopus Cello Quartet. Sponsored by Villa Musica. World Premiere.

May 3. NYC, Red Bull Studios. Talk with Alan Licht.

May 16. NYC, Red Bull Music Academy New York Festival, Manhattan Masonic Temple. Symphonies Nos. 8, 10 &12 conducted by John Myers.
Special guest guitarists Reg Bloor, Ben Greenberg, Mick Barr, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, Haley Fohr, Randy Randall, Fabi Rayna, Arad Evans, bassist Justin Frye and drummer Greg Fox.

May 26. NYC, Cipriani Wall Street. Short solo performance for The Kitchen Spring Gala.

June 3 - October 22. FLORIDA, Bob Rauschenberg Gallery. Exhibition of drawings and instruments.

October 8. NYC, Roulette. "The Third Ascension" and the world premiere of "The Light (for David)".
The Glenn Branca Ensemble conducted by Branca.
Reg Bloor, Arad Evans, Brendon Randall-Myers, Luke Schwartz - Guitars, Greg McMullen - Bass, Owen Weaver - Drums, Glenn Branca - Conductor

CD Release of "Symphony No. 13 (Hallucination City)" for 100 Guitars (Live in Rome, 2008) on Atavistic Records.
John Myers - Conductor, Reg Bloor - Concertmaster, Virgil Moorefiled - Drummer

Vinyl release of "Symphony No. 1 (Tonal Plexus)" on ROIR Records.

CD Release of "Symphony No. 4 (Physics)" Live in Europe 1983 on Atavistic Records.


February 20. PARIS, France, CITE DE LA MUSIQUE. World Premiere of "Symphony No. 16 (Orgasm)"

"Symphony No. 16 (Orgasm)" for 100 guitars, basses and drums written and conducted by Glenn Branca

1. Cognac And Cigarettes
2. Entanglement
3. Interpenetrating Harmony
4. Wild Sound
5. Seismic Waves



June 21. NYC, Winter Garden at World Financial Center. American premiere of ASCENSION THREE for the Glenn Branca Ensemble as part of the Bang on a Can Marathon.

American Premiere of ASCENSION THREE for the Glenn Branca Ensemble
Reg Bloor, Arad Evans, Eric Hubel, Luke Schwartz - Guitars, Greg McMullen - Bass, Owen Weaver - Drums, Glenn Branca - Conductor


January 28th and 29th. WINNIPEG, Canada. "Beyond Festival" curated by Matthew Patton. Three orchestral pieces by Glenn Branca to be performed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alexander Mickelthwate.
28th……."Symphony No. 14 (First Movement)"
29th……."Symphony No. 11" and "Freeform"

Performances of solo guitar pieces "Invisible Paintings":
February 7th. BOLOGNA, Italy. Freakout Club.
February 9th. PARIS, France. La Machine du Moulin Rouge.
February 13th. COPENHAGEN, Denmark. Planeten.
August 3rd. KATOWICE, Poland. "Off Festival"

World Premiere tour of ASCENSION THREE for the Glenn Branca Ensemble
Reg Bloor, Arad Evans, Eric Hubel, Luke Schwartz - Guitars, Greg McMullen - Bass, Owen Weaver - Drums, Glenn Branca - Conductor
October 8, HAMBURG, Germany. Kampnagel.
October 9, STRASBOURG, France. Auditorium des Musées de la Ville de Strasbourg.
October 12, BERLIN, Germany. Volksbuhne.
October 14, AMSTERDAM, Netherlands. Melkweg.
October 17, TOURS, France. Le Temps Machine

November 18. Sydney, AUSTRALIA, "Fugue for a Temp Track" world premiere for Alaska Orchestra

New vinyl releases:
"Lesson No. 1" on Superior Viaduct.
"The Ascension" on Superior Viaduct.




For concert bookings for the Glenn Branca Ensemble and licenses of Glenn's work contact Reg Bloor directly at

"This music does somehow seem to take on the aspect of an event in nature or an act of God." (Richard Buell BOSTON GLOBE)

"Branca conducted with so much passion that his life could have depended on it. When science fiction writers describe the 'Music of the Future' one can imagine Branca's music -- shimmering and heavenly, and stark, physical and austere." (Lynden Barber MELODY MAKER)

"Just occasionally, new music comes as a real shock, a jolt to the system, a reminder that it is possible to go out to a concert and hear something really unexpected, really wild and dangerous. Alongside memories of Hendrix or watching the Sex Pistols there is now the Glenn Branca experience." (Robin Denselon THE GUARDIAN, London)

"There were sounds I'd never heard before, never imagined. The music itself seemed to combine raw sexual energy and massive sacred passions into a single irresistible force" (Mark Swed LA WEEKLY)

"Branca had me shaking." (John Cage CHICAGO SUN-TIMES)

"Branca makes a noise you've always imagined but never expected to hear." (Kristine McKenna L.A.TIMES)

"Glenn Branca may emerge as the most important new composer of our time." (Jim Gustafson DETROIT WEEKLY)

"The most intense music you'll ever hear in your life." Jim Fouratt

"He is an inspired American original" (Robert Palmer NEW YORK TIMES)

"The effects and texture Mr. Branca achieves are really remarkable, and the sound is unlike anything in music." (John Rockwell NEW YORK TIMES)

"Branca stretches his music further than is normally deemed acceptable or even possible in the world of rock, frequently reaching a plateau of sustained intensity rarely achieved outside of the spiritual or sexual encounter. If anyone else described their music as forcing you 'far back into the subconscious to find out what it is you are hearing' they might appear pretentious; when Branca makes this kind if statement it merely seems modest, inadequate." (Lynden Barber MELODY MAKER)

"Glenn Branca is a rock 'n roll renegade who has left the standard rock circuit behind to become a trailblazing new music iconoclast. Branca's music is absolutely hypnotic, building with an enormous cascading crescendo that seems nonstop and nonstoppable. It's absolutely riveting, completely devastating." (Rob Barker NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

"Branca's music calls to mind such works as Penderecki's "Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima" and Luigi Non's "Como una ola de fuerza y luz". His music equals such works as these in the expression of contemporary passions. It is primal and cathartic, sexual yet dispassionate. In its effects on the listener it is a new expansion of musical awareness. Branca has a real and radical talent as a composer." (Louis K. Morra WKCR)

"Bells are ringing, Loudly, A celestial choir screams in epiphanic ecstasy. The music unrolls like a blistering juggernaut, spiked with scalding tempos and latticework of overtones and textures that conjure voices, horns, violins and cathedral chimes from thin air. Three hundred years earlier Branca would have been hanged for witchcraft." (Ted Drozdowshi MUSICIAN MAGAZINE)

"Branca's symphonies are more than just thunderous explosions of sound. He is interested in dissonant chordal structures that recall the sound-mass explorations of Ligeti and Penderecki. His primal, ritualistic power conjures up images of a berserk Varese. His symphonies have an orgiastic, ecstatic sense of climax - a primitivist power that surges forward in a brazenly romantic manner." (K. Robert Schwarz HORIZON MAGAZINE)

"I don't think I will ever be quite the same. I've never seen a performer like him. Branca may as well have put on a full scale production of WAR AND PEACE playing all of the characters by himself. That's about how much energy he put out. Or he could have climbed K-2. That's how high he took the audience." (Rebecca Moore EAR MAGAZINE)

"Visually and aurally enthralling, it was subtle, it was blatant, it was beautiful, and it is a complex, brilliant symphony." (Katherine Ludwig NEW YORK TALK)

"Glenn Branca's music burns through stylistic barriers like a blowtorch. The sounds generated by his electric guitar ensembles weld the manic energy of heavy metal onto the large forms and massed sonorities of the 20th-century orchestra, Branca is indeed creating new music." (Ted Greenwald KEYBOARD MAGAZINE)

"These unprecedented sounds are so complex that the music opens up into hallucination. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks of this music, just as it doesn't matter what anyone thinks of the sun. It was more like witnessing an event in nature than attending a concert." (Cole Gagne OPTION MAGAZINE)

"Sculpting Mount Rushmore-sized sonic bedrock into epic symphonies, Glenn Branca's work consistently cuts through artsy gutlessness with the assurance of a Black and Decker circular saw. This is live art of the highest caliber, sacral, ragged and devastatingly honest in a scenario where honesty is the one brand name missing from the record racks, supermarkets and concert halls." (Mark Dery HIGH PERFORMANCE MAGAZINE)

"This megamusic is not just an aural assault but a cathartic conjunction of pleasure and pain intended to disrupt fixed ideas and emotions. It confuses the distinctions in intent and experience that are commonly used to characterize and classify art. It is at once visceral and cerebral, anarchistic and controlled, hellish and sublime. Branca's entire creative output has, in this way, a grasp of sanity and a touch of madness, a way of standing perfectly still and yet be throbbing all the while." (Carlo McCormick ARTFORUM)

"Glenn Branca's fire-breathing music is a turbulently successful mix of sonic pioneering and experimental melodics with rock-solid, butt-kicking guitar thrash. Branca was out front directing, breathing and lurching with the pulse, extracting some of the most incredible chord combinations ever known to the guitar." (Tristram Lozaw BOSTON ROCK)

"There is nobody making music today who even faintly resembles him." (Allan Ulrich SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER)

"Stunningly dramatic, hypnotically throbbing, thunderously erotic, sensuously mystical. Branca seemed to pull monster glissandos from his band with his bare hands." (Mark Swed LOS ANGELES HERALD EXAMINER)

"Glenn Branca is one of a dwindling number of reasons not to commit suicide. He makes explosive, challenging music that pushes back the borders of what contemporary music can be." (Steve Albini MATTER MAGAZINE)

"Whether this is 'serious' or classical or rock or all three, Mr. Branca is the leader of the most vital new trend to transform downtown new music since the minimalists. The unprecedented aural density sets up new acoustic and artistic ramifications: ringing harmonics, directional counterpoint from different loudspeakers, the inherent theater of this new kind of guitar orchestra. In an important sense, Mr. Branca is presenting neither classical music nor instrumental rock but a new kind of live electronic music. He uses electric guitars, not as artifacts of rock but as electronic-music instruments bent to uses that have their roots in Futurism, Dada, Varese and the 60's sound-colorists as well as symphonic music, free jazz and heavy-metal rock. However one chooses to categorize this music, the fact remains that it is part of a movement and that if anyone can claim leadership of that movement, it is Mr. Branca." (John Rockwell NEW YORK TIMES)

"Branca is now frighteningly good, one of the best composers alive; the exuberance, intelligence, and newness of his music can make everything else around sound stale and tame. Rock and Roll shocked and transformed the pop music world when it emerged; when Branca's work surfaces, the new music community is in for an equivalent surprise." (Greg Sandow VILLAGE VOICE)


Works Available for Performance:

1. "Symphony No. 13 (Hallucination City)" in 4 Movements (for 100 Guitars , Drums and Conductor)

2. "Symphony No. 16 (Orgasm)" in 5 Movements (for 100 Guitars, Drums and Conductor)

3. Selections from the "The Ascensions" (for 4 Guitars, Drums, Bass and Conductor)

4. "Symphony No. 12 (Tonal Sexus)" + "The Light (For David)" (for 10 Guitars, Drums and Conductor)

5. "Symphonies No. 8 & 10 (The Mysteries)" in 4 Movements (For 10 Guitars, Drums and Conductor)

In Progress:

6. "Psychopathological Beast" (5 pieces for electro-acoustic Chamber Ensemble, 7 Musicians and Conductor)

7. "False World, Good Night!" a symphony in seven movements for 100 violins and orchestral percussion, written and conducted by Glenn Branca.

1. I quit thee from my thought, My part is ended on thy stage.
2. My tender, first, and simple years Thou didst abuse and then betray.
3. In a soil hast planted me Where breathe the basest of thy fools.
4. Nothing is examined, weigh’d, But as ’tis rumour’d, so believed.
5. Every freedom is betray’d, And every goodness tax’d or grieved.
6. I will bear these with that scorn As shall not need thy false relief.
7. But make my strengths, such as they are, Here in my bosom, and at home.

Excerpts from the poem FAREWELL TO THE WORLD by Ben Jonson (published in 1616)


Releases on SYSTEMS NEUTRALIZERS                  


ascension cover art














100 guitars montclair NJ    
Photo by Libby Fab                                  


1. NEW YORK CITY. Premiere of first version in one movement on June 13, 2001 at the former World Trade Center, as part of "Evening Stars" sponsored by The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
2. NEW JERSEY. Premiere of revised version in four movements on January 30, 2006 at The Kasser Theater as part of "Peak Performance" sponsored by Montclair St. University.
3. LOS ANGELES. March 29, 2006 at Walt Disney Concert Hall as part of "Minimalist Jukebox" sponsored by The Los Angeles Philharmonic.
4. GHENT. October 5, 2006 at Vooruit as part of the "Festival of Flanders" sponsored by Champ d'Action
5. KORTRIJK. October 6, 2006 at Stadsschouwburg as part of the "Happy New Ears Festival" sponsored by Champ d'Action
6. DUBLIN. July 15, 2007 at Grand Canal Square as part of "Down At The Docklands" sponsored by The Dublin Docklands Development Authority.
7. LONDON. October 12, 2007 at The Roundhouse as part of "The Frieze Art Fair" sponsored by Frieze Magazine.
8. ROME. February 28, 2008 at Auditorium Parco Della Musica as part of "Contemporanea 2008" sponsored by Fondazione Musica Per Roma.
9. SEATTLE. May 16, 2008 at the Olympic Sculpture Park as part of the "Party in the Park" sponsored by the Seattle Art Museum.
10. ST. LOUIS. November 13, 2008 at The Pageant sponsored by The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as part of their Guitar Festival.

Originally commissioned by The Mission For The Year 2000, Paris.


Link to five articles by Glenn Branca on New York Times blog 2007-2009:

Link to Glenn Branca Video Interview:

Link to short film interview:



Branca: List of Major Works

"Club Limbo" - play written with Thomas Joseph (un-produced)
"Scratching The Surface" - play
"Anthropophagoi" - music theater piece written with John Rehberger for THE BASTARD THEATRE
"Percussion, Electronics And Mouth" - five electro-acoustic pieces for THE DUBIOUS MUSIC ENSEMBLE
"What Actually Happened" - music theater piece written with John Rehberger for THE BASTARD THEATRE
"Faspeedelaybop" - vocal tape piece
"Ballet Continuo" - theater piece (un-produced)
"Shivering Tongue Fingers Air" - solo music theater piece (un-produced)
"Jill" - song with solo acoustic guitar
14 songs for band THEORETICAL GIRLS (1977 to 1979)
"Cognitive Dissonance" - theater piece
16 songs for band THE STATIC (1978-1979)
"Inspirez Expirez" - extended instrumental for THE STATIC
"Ernest Kitzler, 1964-1977" - solo gallery exhibition
"The Whole Field" - performance piece written with Barbara Ess
"(Instrumental) For Six Guitars" - for THE GLENN BRANCA ENSEMBLE
"The Spectacular Commodity" - dance score - THE GBE (originally performed by THE STATIC as "Fluttering Black")
"Dissonance" - THE GBE
"Lesson No. I (For Electric Guitar)" - THE GBE
"(Instrumental) For Six Guitars" - expanded version in 3 parts - THE GBE
"The Ascension" - THE GBE
"Music for a film by Dan Graham" - tape piece for guitars
"Light Field" - THE GBE
"Lesson No. 2" - THE GBE
"Diabolique" - one section is also the piece "Structure" - THE GBE
"Symphony No. 1 (Tonal Plexus)" - in four movements - THE GBE
"Indeterminate Activity Of Resultant Masses" - THE GBE
Harmonics Guitar - musical instrument
Music for "Bad Smells" - dance score - THE GBE
"Symphony No. 2 (The Peak Of The Sacred)" - in five movements - THE GBE
"Symphony No. 3 (Gloria)" - in three movements - THE GBE
"Acoustic Phenomena" - music for performance collaboration w/Dan Graham - THE GBE
"Symphony No. 4 (Physics)" - in four movements - THE GBE
"Symphony No. 5 (Describing Planes Of An Expanding Hypersphere)" - in seven movements - THE GBE
"Classical Space (Forms Of Infinite Regress Within A Finite Field)" - solo gallery exhibition of 22 drawings derived from the harmonic series
"Chords" - THE GBE
"Music for the Murabushi Company (Ascent)" - THE GBE
Music for "In Passions Tongue"- opera fragment for string orchestra and voices with libretto by Branca
"Hollywood Pentagon" - THE GBE
Music for "Edmond" - theater score for guitars and drums on tape - THE GBE
Music for "The Belly Of An Architect" - film score for string orchestra on tape, includes piece "Augustus"
"Symphony No. 6 (Angel Choirs At The Gates Of Hell)" - in four movements - THE GBE
Symphony No. 6 (Devil Choirs At The Gates Of Heaven) - revised, in five
movements - THE GBE
Music for "The Tower" - theater score for orchestra on tape
Bestiariam - art installation score for chorus on tape
Symphony No. 7 (Graz) - in five movements for orchestra
The World Upside Down - ballet score in seven movements for orchestra
Vacation Overture - for orchestra (unproduced)
String Quartet No.1
Les Honneurs Du Pied - dance score in two movements for orchestra
Symphony No. 8 (The Mystery) - in two movements - THE GBE
The Tower Opera - full length opera for orchestra and chorus w/ libretto by Matthew Maguire. (unproduced)
Symphony No. 9 (L'Eve Future) - in one movement for orchestra and chorus
Symphony No. 10 (The Mystery Pt. 2) - in two movements - THE GBE
"Movement Within" - chamber ensemble piece for amplified Harmonic Series instrumentation
"Symphony No. 11 (The Nether Lands)" - In one movement for orchestra and chorus
"Symphony No. 12 (Tonal Sexus)" in one movement for guitars and drums - GBE
"Empty Blue" (collaboration with Regina Bloor, David Bowie and Tony Oursler for gallery installation)
Music for "Portrait of Shunkin" - theater score for sampler orchestra on tape
"Symphony No. 13 (Hallucination City)" in one movement for 80 guitars, 20 basses and drums
Music for "The Mothman Prophecies" part of film score for 2 electric guitars
"In Perpetuity" - music for 30 guitars and basses with drums
"Guitars d'Amour" - for 4 guitars and drums
"Compositional Recreations" - for electro-acoustic chamber ensemble
"Light Field" - revised version for string quartet
"Symphony No. 13 (Hallucination City)" - rewritten version in four movements
"Lesson No. 3 (Tribute to Steve Reich)" - for 4 guitars, bass and drums - THE GBE
"House Of Leaves" - for electro-acoustic chamber ensemble
"2,000,000,000 Light Years From Home" - First Movement for "Symphony No. 14 (The Harmonic Series)" for orchestra
"The Blood" - for 4 guitars, bass and drums - THE GBE
"Lost Chords" - for 4 guitars, bass and drums - THE GBE
"The Tone Row That Ruled The World"- for 4 guitars, bass and drums - THE GBE
"Carbon Monoxide" - for 4 guitars, bass and drums - THE GBE
"Quadratonic"- for 4 guitars, bass and drums - THE GBE
"Symphony No. 15 (Running Through The World Like An Open Razor)" music for strange orchestra in seven movements - THE GBE
"Thought" - for electro-acoustic chamber ensemble
"Twisting In Space" - for 4 guitars, bass and drums - GBE
"Invisible Paintings" - music for solo acoustic guitar and solo Harmonics Guitar
"Velvets and Pearls" - for 4 guitars. bass and drums -GBE
"German Expressionism" - for 4 guitars. bass and drums -GBE
"Lesson No. 4" - for 4 guitars. bass and drums -GBE
"The Smoke (Guitar Concerto for Arad Evans)" - for 4 guitars. bass and drums -GBE
"Cold Thing (La Belle Dame sans Merci)" - for 4 guitars. bass and drums -GBE
"Fugue For A Temp Track" - for chamber ensemble - Alaska Orchestra
"Symphony No. 16 (Orgasm)" in five movements for 100 guitars and drums
"Dark Harmony" - for 4 cellos and drums - Octopus Cello Quartet
"The Light (for David)" - for 4 guitars. bass and drums -GBE

Commercial Album Recordings in order of release (not including most compilations, DVD's or singles):

LESSON #1 - 99 Records, Acute Records
THE ASCENSION - 99 Records, Acute Records
SYMPHONY NO. 3 (GLORIA) - Neutral, Crepuscule, Atavistic
THE BELLY OF AN ARCHITECT (soundtrack) - Crepuscule, Normal, Factory
SYMPHONY NO. 6 (DEVIL CHOIRS AT THE GATES OF HEAVEN) - Blast First, Restless,Danceteria, Atavistic
THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN - Crepuscule, Atavistic
THE MYSTERIES (SYMPHONIES NO. 8 + NO. 10) - Blast First, Atavistic
SONGS (1977-1979) - Atavistic
THE ASCENSION: THE SEQUEL - Systems Neutralizers
SYMPHONY NO. 7 (GRAZ) - Systems Neutralizers