Born in Kansas and raised in Ponca City, OK, Brant Bayless came to Utah after completing his studies in New York City. Early piano lessons and singing in his father’s church choirs led Brant to the viola at age 12. Winning the Governor’s Scholarship to Interlochen Arts Camp in 1992 gave him his first glimpse of the musical world outside Oklahoma. After two years at the University of Kansas studying with Michael Kimber, he found his way to New York. Invited to study on scholarship with Pinchas Zukerman and Patinka Kopec at the Manhattan School of Music, Brant finished his bachelor’s degree in 1997.
While at the Manhattan School of Music he became violist in the violist of the Arcata String Quartet. His performances with the Arcata were heard throughout the US and Europe, including concerts at New York City’s Town Hall and Weill Recital Hall and London’s famed Wigmore Hall. The Arcata’s Beethoven cycle at Wave Hill, the Bronx estate of Arturo Toscanini, and their many recordings, some of which are available still, continue to be memorable highlights. In 1998, the Arcata inaugurated a residency at Utah State University, a position that they held for three years.
Since joining the Utah Symphony in 2001, Brant has immersed himself in the vibrant musical community in Salt Lake City, performing on the NOVA and Intermezzo chamber music series, the Canyonlands New Music Ensemble and Salty Cricket Composers Collective teaching at Westminster College, and special events as the William Primrose Memorial Recital he gave at BYU in 2005.
During the summer Brant regularly performs at the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Bellingham (WA) Festival of Music, and the Strings Festival in Steamboat Springs (CO).
As guest violist, Brant traveled to Brazil in 2010 with the Fry Street Quartet, performing at the Oficina de Musica de Curitiba. Recently he was guest principal violist with the St. Louis Symphony. As a soloist he has made regular appearances with the Utah Symphony. His viola is attributed to the Milanese maker Luigi Bajoni from 1858.