Malachai Bandy

Assistant Professor of Music; Music History
  • Expertise


    A native of Los Angeles, Malachai Komanoff Bandy has amassed a professional performance record on some 20 instruments spanning over 800 years of music history. He graduated cum laude with distinction in research and creative work from Rice University's Shepherd School of Music with double bass and music history degrees. In recent years, Malachai has performed as a violist da gamba, violinist, and renaissance double-reed player with various ensembles in the U.S. and Europe, including The Orpheon Consort, Ars Lyrica Houston, Voices of Music, Queens Baroque, Tesserae, and Ciaramella. He is also a featured soloist in Bear McCreary’s scores to the films “10 Cloverfield Lane” (yaylı tanbur, 2016), “Welcome Home” (viol, 2018), the Emmy-winning title theme for the STARZ television series “DaVinci's Demons” (viol, 2013), and the video game “God of War” (nyckelharpa, 2018). After completing a Wagoner Fellowship-funded course of viola da gamba and organological study with José Vázquez in Austria, Spain, and Switzerland, Malachai received a Presser Graduate Award (2016) to create the first comprehensive aural catalog of the Orpheon Foundation’s 50 historical violas da gamba (Duino, Italy). He is currently a Ph.D. candidate and past provost and Oakley Fellow in Historical Musicology at the USC Thornton School of Music, and he was the 2019 recipient of both the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music's Irene Alm Memorial Prize and the AMS Pacific Southwest Chapter's Ingolf Dahl Award in Musicology. Malachai’s scholarly interests include topics pertaining to occult philosophy, number symbolism, and Rosicrucianism in the North-German Baroque, as well as viola da gamba technique, repertoire, instrument design and iconography.