Roter's music has been called "deeply emotional," "beautiful," "music filled with vigor and daring."
Bruce Craig Roter (b. 1962 in Brooklyn, NY) grew up in Hauppauge, Long Island. His earliest compositions were chamber works written for family gatherings. Formal studies began at the Juilliard School's preparatory division where Roter studied composition with Craig Shuller and music theory with Bruce Adolphe. Roter continued his education at the Eastman School of Music studying composition with Joseph Schwantner and Samuel Adler and orchestration with Christopher Rouse. Roter received a B.M. from Eastman (1984), a M.A. from Yale University (1985), and a Ph.D. in Composition/Music Theory from Rutgers University (1992).
Roter has received numerous awards from the ASCAP as well as grants from the Meet the Composer Foundation and the American Music Center. Roter has been the recipient of commissions from the NEA and the American Composers Forum, including a Continental Harmony commission for national millennial celebrations. Roter has been commissioned by the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Carson City Symphony, and the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra.
With a richly tonal palette, Roter's musical style balances lyricism with passages that are bold and heroic. Melodies are frequently interwoven, creating exciting and intricate textures. Roter has written for all standard concert media, from songs and choral works to compositions for chamber ensembles, concert band, and orchestra.
Roter often finds inspiration in world events and social issues. His A Camp David Overture (Prayer for Peace) was inspired by the Camp David Peace Accords between Israel and Egypt. The 2006 Washington DC premiere brought together diplomats from all over the world, including Egypt and Israel. In a 2001 interview, the conductor David Alan Miller observed that Roter has found a successful niche by exploring American heritage in his music. Under the direction of David Alan Miller, Roter's tribute to Theodore Roosevelt, TR: a 'Bully' Portrait, received its world premiere with the Albany Symphony Orchestra in 2001. On July 4th, 2002, it was given its North Dakota premiere by Tom Wellin and the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony. This performance, at the North Dakota State Capitol, was narrated by Metropolitan Opera bass-baritone LeRoy Lehr. Among the dignitaries present were North Dakota Governor John Hoeven, and Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND).
Roter's music has been performed in the United States, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. It has been webcast, televised and documented by PBS.
Roter often appears on radio, television or in pre-concert lectures to introduce audiences to his music. Roter's publishers include Lauren Keiser Music, Inc., Transcontinental, and Coho Music Publications.
A music educator as well as a composer, Dr. Roter has taught at Rutgers University, Jersey City State College, Mesa Community College, Linfield College, and Skidmore College. Roter is currently Professor of Music at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York.