Composition Colloquium: Nick Virzi, Andrew Watts

Colloquium | April 14 | 3 p.m. |  CNMAT (1750 Arch St.)

 Department of Music

Nick Virzi (b. 1991) is a composer from New York City, currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. His current work explores the dramatic and empathetic nature of music through mimetic representation, anthropomorphism, and abstract methods of generation and development. In addition to composing, Nick is a guitarist and conductor, and translates text in the Italian language.

Nick has received commissions from ensembles such as the Netherlands-based Edge Ensemble, flutist Rachel Hacker, the Frontiers New Music Ensemble (OSU, Oklahoma), and the Soma String Quartet (McGill University, Canada). His works have been performed both throughout the US and internationally by artists such as and cellist Séverine Ballon (FR), soprano Tony Arnold, the JACK Quartet, Liminar (MX), Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Splinter Reeds, and the Spektral Quartet, and have been heard at such venues as the Mannes School of Music, the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, and Gaudeamus Muziekweek. He is a fellow of the Cortona Sessions for New Music (Toscana, IT), as well as the soundSCAPE exchange (Maccagno, IT), the New Music for Strings Festival (Aarhus, DE), and the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival at the Julliard School.

Nick received his Bachelors of Music (B.M.) in composition from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music (NY), where he studied with Du Yun, Huang Ruo, and Suzanne Farrin, as well as conducting with Ransom Wilson. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in composition at Stanford University, where he studies with Mark Applebaum, Erik Ulman, and Brian Ferneyhough.

Andrew Watts’ works, from chamber and symphonic music to multimedia and electro-acoustic, are actively performed throughout the US and Europe. His compositions have been premiered at world-renowned venues such as Ravinia, the MFA Boston, Jordan Hall, and the Holywell Music Room. This past year, Mr. Watts has written for top musicians and ensembles including Tony Arnold, Séverine Ballon, Radical 2, and the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet.

He is currently a doctoral candidate at Stanford studying with Brian Ferneyhough and working towards a DMA in Composition. Mr. Watts received his master's with distinction from Oxford and his bachelor's with academic honors from the New England Conservatory. His primary teachers have been Robert Saxton at Oxford, Kati Agócs at NEC, as well as Aaron Einbond, Stratis Minakakis, and Michael Gandolfi independently. In addition to a liberal arts education at IU’s Hutton Honors College, he has also taken economics and literature classes at Brown.

This past summer Mr. Watts attended the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt and Composit Festival. In previous years he also participated in the Biennial Ostrava Days Institute, highSCORE Festival, Wellesley Composers Conference, Etchings Festival, Fresh Inc. Festival, New Music on the Point, and the Atlantic Music Festival.