Bruce's music draws inspiration from folk-traditions from around the world. He particularly enjoys collaborating with musicians who have strong connections with both classical and folk/world traditions, such as accordionist Michael Ward-Bergeman, mandolinist Avi Avital and clarinettist David Orlowsky. Bruce also enjoys close working relationships with some of the finest musicians of the younger generation including Ensemble ACJW; harpist Bridget Kibbey; the grammy-nominated Metropolis Ensemble in New York; Chroma in the UK; and Art of Elan in San Diego (whose commission The Eye of Night was premiered in 2011 and will be recorded).

Bruce's work in opera has also attracted considerable attention. A series of short operas for Tete a Tete in London culminated in the Genesis Foundation's commission Push! (2006), which was Critic's Choice for 2006 in both The Telegraph and Classical Music Magazine and received widespread critical acclaim. In 2008, Dawn Upshaw instigated the commission for his one-act opera A Bird in Your Ear (2008) for Bard College, NY. After its successful premiere the opera had performances by New York City Opera as part of the 2009 VOX festival; as a finalist in the National Opera Association's Chamber Opera competition 2008; and with students at NYU. The New York Times said the opera, "rich with imagined folk tunes, undulant accompaniment patterns and vibrant choral writing, is delicate, tartly tonal and lucidly orchestrated."

Bruce's music has attracted numerous awards and prizes, including the Lili Boulanger Memorial Prize (2008) and the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Competition (1994).