Brandon Stirling Baker is an award-winning lighting designer working internationally in the areas of theatre, opera, and dance, notably Boston Ballet and New York City Ballet, among others. Check out his impressive bio for one so young.
He is also the recipient of a KOI-USA (Knight of Illumination USA) Award, presented at LDI2019 in Las Vegas on Friday, November 22, about which he says, “There is so much to be thankful for this year, but last week was something special...I received the prestigious Knight of Illumination Award in Dance (KOI-USA) for my work on Justin Peck’s Reflections. Sending all of my love and gratitude to the KOI-USA Committee, ETC, Justin Peck, Houston Ballet, Clifton Taylor, and the many individuals that have supported my career as a designer in ballet.”
Bravo Brandon, the second winner of the KOI-USA Award for dance lighting (last year’s inaugural award went to Al Crawford).
Baker has also been noticed by the mainstream press, which does not often cover lighting designers. Last January, he was featured in The New York Times article, “A Master of Dance Lighting Steps Out of the Shadows,” by Brian Seibert. The article was in advance of Baker’s participation in the Works & Process Series at the Guggenheim Museum, which more frequently features performing artists than designers.
Baker’s Works & Process interview can be seen here.
He was also recently featured in The Observer, in an article titled “Brandon Stirling Baker Is the Lighting Designer Dance’s Brightest Stars All Want to Work With.” The title itself is a very nice compliment, and the article mentions his KOI-USA nomination, which now of course has become a reality. Baker gets to take home a genuine Toledo steel sword as part of his being a knight of illumination.
I had seen some of Baker’s work at New York City Ballet, where he frequently works with choreographer Justin Peck, and was excited at LDI2017 when lighting designer Clifton Taylor included Baker on his series of CLIFTalks on various aspects of dance lighting. I hope we can get Baker back to LDI next year, if his schedule allows, and I must talk to Clifton. Maybe it’s time for the next round of CLIFTalks…