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Branca, Glenn, 1948-2018



  • Existence: 1948 - 2018


Glenn Gilbert Branca was an experimental composer, guitarist, and artist, born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on October 6, 1948, to parents John G. Branca Jr. and Dolores Louise Smith, with a sister, Bonita or "Bonnie." He lived in Boston and London (with then-girlfriend Meg English) from 1966 until 1976. In 1976 he moved to New York City. He formed the band The Static in 1976, later called Theoretical Girls, which existed until 1981. Branca founded a record label, Neutral Records, in 1982 (notably releasing Sonic Youth's first record). During his career he composed for bands, ensembles of electric guitars, symphonies (electric and acoustic), a string quartet, an opera, ballet, chorus, and for film and theater. He had 14 albums released commercially. He also created new versions of instruments, including the harmonics guitar (based on his theory of music about the harmonic series tuning system). While in Boston, he was a founder of the experimental Bastard Theatre which combined music and theater performance. Branca recieved music composition awards from CAPS, NY (1983-1984), The National Endowment for the Arts (1988-1989), The DAAD Berlin fellowship (1988-1989), The New York Foundation for the Arts (1998-1999) and The Foundation for Contemporary Arts (2009-2010), and received more than 50 commissions from public and private organizations. Branca passed away from throat cancer in 2018, at age 69.

(Source: "glenn branca: BIOGRAPHY" at URL:, and enhanced by collection contents.)



Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Glenn Branca collection

Identifier: Branca

The Glenn Branca Collection consists of the professional and personal records of experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca (1948-2018). The collection is arranged into 16 series, spanning 85 document boxes,14 oversize boxes, and 1909.49 gigabytes of born digital material, and dates from 1918 to 2018.

Dates: 1918-2018