Brian Holmes was born in Washington D. C. He graduated from Punahou School in Honolulu, received a Bachelor’s degree from Pomona College, and earned a PhD in experimental low temperature physics from Boston University.
He joined the Physics Department of San Jose State University in 1983. He has often neglected his students to play in the San Jose Symphony and Opera San Jose. He is co-principal horn of the Peninsula Symphony, a member of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, and a member of the Menlo Brass Quintet. He is also a nationally recognized expert on the physics of brass musical instruments, giving many invited talks all over the country.
He prefers to compose for chorus or solo voice. He has published twenty compositions, won a dozen composition contests, and completed a dozen commissions.