Orlando Garcia - Bio - Composers in Residence


Through some one hundred and fifty works composed for a wide range of performance genres, Orlando Jacinto Garcia has established himself as an important figure in the new music world.

The distinctive character of his music has been described as “time suspended- haunting sonic explorations” – qualities he developed from his work with Morton Feldman among others.

Born in Havana, Cuba in 1954, Garcia migrated to the United States in 1961 and received his DMA in Music Composition from the University of Miami in 1984. A long list of distinguished soloists, ensembles, and orchestras have presented his music at festivals and recitals in most of the major capitols of the world.

Recent important performances of his music include those in Poland, England, Spain, Serbia, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Venezuela, and other parts of Europe, Latin America, the US, and Canada.

In demand as a guest composer and lecturer at national and international festivals, he is the recipient of numerous honors and awards from a variety of organizations and cultural institutions.

These include two Fulbright artist/lectureships, the first in Caracas, Venezuela during 1991-92 where Garcia presented master classes, assisted with the set up and development of the Center for Electro-Acoustic Music and Research at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, completed several new works, and conducted and presented premieres of his music.

The second a Senior Lectureship in Salamanca, Spain during 1996-97 at the Universidad de Salamanca where he taught graduate analysis/composition courses, created works, and conducted his music.

Additional recognition for his work has come from the Rockefeller Foundation in the form of a summer residency at their Center in Bellagio, Italy during 1999 where he completed a new work for the Caracas based Orquesta Sinfonica Simon Bolivar.

The orchestra premiered the work as part of the Festival Latinoamericano de Musica held in Venezuela in the fall of 2002.

A recording of the premiere was released on New Albion Records in 2004 as part of his solo CD. Further support from the Rockefeller Foundation includes a visiting artist residency at the American Academy in Rome during the summer of 2000 where he completed a new piece for the Juilliard based Continuum Ensemble.

The new work premiered in the fall of 2000 as part of Continuum’s tour of Latin America and as part of the Sonic Boom Festival in the fall of 2001. Garcia is also a two-time Cintas Foundation Fellowship winner (1994-95 and 1999-2000) supporting the creation of new works for distinguished soloists and ensembles here and abroad. Other awards include a 2001 State of Florida composer’s fellowship, first prize in Mexico’s Nuevas Resonancias competition, and a first prize in the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation (JDAF) 2001 competition.

As part of the prize Garcia completed a solo cello work for Maya Beiser who premiered it at the JDAF awards ceremony held in NYC 5/01.

The work was subsequently recorded and released on Innova Recordings.

In the summer of 2001 his imagenes sonidos congelados for violin and fixed media was selected as part of the Sonic Circuits competition and was later performed at the 2003 ICMC in Singapore.

In 2003 his work for piano/disklavier and electronics, written for Kathleen Supove was premiered at New York University and at various concerts in the US.

Another work for fixed media, temporal was presented at the 2006 ICMC in New Orleans and at the 2006 International Electro-acoustic Music Festival in Santiago de Chile.

Other performances of note include his work Auschwitz (nunca se olvidaran) for orchestra and choir, given its NYC premiere October 2003 by the Brooklyn Philharmonic with the Trinity Church Choir and again in 2010 with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the NYU Singers with Arkady Leytush conducting, as well as 2004 and 2005 portrait concerts of his music realized in New York City and Amsterdam, Holland by the Electronic Music Foundation and the Barton Workshop respectively.

Portrait concerts of his work are being presented in Mexico, Uruguay, and Spain in 2014-15. Important recent premieres of his electroacoustic works include those at the ICMC in New Orleans 2004, FEAMF 2005, and SEAMUS Festivals 2007, 2008, and 2011 and his collaborations with video artists Jacek Kolasinski, John Stuart, Daniel Viñoly, and Eric Goldemberg, which have resulted in new works premiered at the International Music Festival in Lima Peru, the Cervantino Festival in Mexico, the Spring in Havana Festival in Cuba, and the Ear to the Earth Festival in NYC during 2007, 2008, and 2010. Garcia’s experimental video opera, transcending time, premiered in April 2009 at the Biennale in Zagreb, Croatia with the Cantus Ensemble. The work for chamber orchestra and 5 singers includes videos by Stuart and Kolasinski as well as text by MacArthur Foundation winning poet Campbell McGrath. More recently Garcia’s orchestra work In Memoriam Earle Brown, was premiered in February 2011 by the Miami Symphony Orchestra (MISO) with conductor Eduardo Marturet and el viento distante (the distant wind) for clarinet and orchestra was premiered in May 2012 by the Lviv Philharmonic in Katowice, Poland with soloist Wojciech Mrozek and Krzesimir Debski conducting. Garcia recently conducted a string orchestra version of the work with the Lviv Philharmonic August 2013 and the full orchestra version with the Philharmonic from Szczecin, Poland April 2014. Also in April a new version of his work for two contrabasses and orchestra was premiered by the MISO with Luis Gomez Imbert and Jeff Bradetich soloists and by the National Orchestra in Medellin, Colombia in September. He spent May and June 2013 at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation Center in Perugia, Italy working on a new work for orchestra and string quartet for premiere in 2016. This spring he was in residence at the MacDowell Colony where he completed new works for the Suono Sacro Ensemble in Assisi, Italy and the Nuevo Ensemble de Segovia in Madrid, Spain each for premieres during 2014. In July he was at the Casa Zia Lina in Italy working on a new piece for the Bugallo Williams piano duo.

He spent August in residence at the Millay Colony completing new works for the Chicago based Fonema Consort chamber ensemble and a collaborative work with visual artist Jacek Kolasinski for electronics and video both for premiere in the fall. Upcoming premieres include new works for violinists Jennifer Choi (violin and string orchestra) and Mari Kimura (violin and electronics) both for premiere in the spring of 2015. Garcia’s music is recorded on O.O. Discs, CRI (Emergency Music, eXchange Series), Albany, North/South, CRS, Capstone, Rugginenti, New Albion, Innova, VDM, CNMAS, New World, and Opus One Records. A CD of his orchestra music was released in September 2014 by the Toccata Classics label. The album features the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra with Jose Serebrier conducting. Garcia’s solo and chamber works have been nominated for Latin Grammys in 2009, 2010, and 2011 in the best contemporary classical composition category. A dedicated teacher, his students have gone on to win prestigious composition awards and prizes and have made positive contributions to the music world. The founder and director of the Miami Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM), the New Music Miami Festival, the NODUS Ensemble, and the FIU New Music Ensemble, Garcia is Composer in Residence for the FIU CARTA Miami Beach Urban Studios and Professor of Music in the School of Music at Florida International University in Miami.