Saxophonist and composer Brenna Noonan is a North American and European performing artist. A native of Boston, MA, Noonan began her studies at The Boston Conservatory and the Berklee School of Music. She later moved to France and studied with Jean-Denis Michat at the Conservatoire National Rayonnement de Lyon. She has performed at such venues as Boston’s Jordan Hall, Lyon’s Opéra Nouvel, and Santa Fe’s Lensic Theater. While in France Noonan attended the Université Européenne de Saxophone in Gap. A proponent of new music, she has given premieres of over a dozen new works. Noonan has also performed internationally and domestically alongside Claude Delangle, Dennis Shafer, ALEA III, Public Enemy, and the Harlem String Quartet, among others. She has participated in several master classes including those led by Claude Delangle, Arno Bornkamp, the PRISM Quartet, and the Quatour Habanera. Her primary saxophone teachers have been Phillipp Stäudlin, Kenneth Radnofsky, Jean-Denis Michat, and Steve Adams.
As a composer, Noonan has received commissions from artists such as saxophonist Dennis Shafer and the duos Transient Canvas and Birds of Passage. She has participated in master classes with numerous composers including Robert Lemay, Nancy Zeltsman, Sam Solomon, Tristan Murail, and Hans Abrahamsen, as well as the Del Sol String Quartet, the QX String Quartet, and the Zodiac Trio. She provided the score for Charlsee Eberly's film “Relative,” a selection for the Cinema du Monde Film Festival in Rouen, France. She has been an Artist-In-Residence at the Arteles Creative Center in Haukijärvi, Finland where she developed her Philip K. Dick-inspired opera "Dark Haired Girl." During her residency she helped form the international performance art collective Art On Demand. In 2014 she was commissioned by composer Nat Evans to participate in his mobile residency “The Tortoise and his Raincoat: Music for a Very Long Walk.” Her resultant work, “The Marvelous Structure of the Existing World,” was exhibited at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, WA as part of their “Summer Field Studies.” Her works can be heard on Quakebasket, Holy Page, and Skellum Records. She has studied composition with Gary Lee Nelson, Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, Roscoe Mitchell, and Wendy Reid.
Noonan has studied Javanese Gamelan under Jenny DeBouzek with an emphasis on the bonang. She studies early music and Baroque recorder with Shira Kammen. She is a founding member of the tape-based punk project Stove. Noonan holds a BA in Contemporary Music with the distinction of summa cum laude from Santa Fe Univesrsity of Art and Design. She is purusing her MA in Composition at Mills College.
In recent years, Noonan has fostered a love for education and working in the nonprofit sector. She was a teaching artist with the Santa Fe Concert Association Orchestra wherein she taught developing musicians of all ages and experience levels throughout Santa Fe's public schools. Upon relocating to California she was a Communications intern with the Center for New Music in San Franciso. She recently accepted a position as the Marketing Associate with Stanford Jazz Workshop.