James Baker has composed numerous works for Tere O’Connor over the years, including Heaven Up North for which he won a Bessie award, and Like Two Kevins for the Lyon Opera Ballet. He is the Principal Percussionist of the New York City Ballet Orchestra and director of the Percussion Ensemble at the New School, Mannes College of Music. A noted conductor of contemporary music, he is Music Director of the Composers’ Conference at Wellesley College and frequently leads both the New York New Music Ensemble and Speculum Musicae. He is resident conductor at the University at Buffalo’s Center for 21st Century Music. He also appears as conductor with the Cygnus and Talea Ensembles and has led Tactus at the Manhattan School of Music.