nilo alcala - composer
Nilo Alcala’s works have been performed in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. He is the first Philippine-born composer to receive the COPLAND HOUSE Residency Award, as well to be commissioned and premiered by the Grammy-winner Los Angeles Master Chorale.
Alcala’s works have been hailed as “…highly revealing, if insightful…” (Inquirer.Net), “…marvelously ear-opening experience…" (Musical America Worldwide), “extraordinary…” (Eric Whitacre, composer), “very fine…” (Morten Lauridsen, composer), “…powerful…spectacularly engaging” (Lauri’s List), "…exuberant and at times hypnotic…”(Cultural Cocktail Hour), and “…scaled peaks of genius” (Asian Journal).
Alcala’s awards include The American Prize in Composition 2018-2019, POLYPHONOS Young Composer Award from The Esoterics (Seattle, WA), IGNITE Commissioning Competition of C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective (New York, NY), Asian Composers League Young Composer Award (Israel), the very first Ani ng Dangal (Harvest of Honor) from the Philippine President, and Musical America Worldwide's Artist of the Month.
His commissions include the National Music Competition for Young Artists; Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival; Korean Ministry of Culture; Asia-Europe Foundation; Metro Manila Community Orchestra, Manila Symphony Orchestra, San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra, and other ensembles. Notable collaborations include several performances by the World Youth Choir, and the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. Alcala's works have been performed by winning ensembles in international choral competitions as well as choral symposiums and festivals around the world.
Alcala was composer-in-residence of the Philippine Madrigal Singers which premiered his works in international competitions such as the Florilege Vocal de Tours (France, 2006) ;the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing (Arezzo, Italy 2007; Tolosa, Spain 2017); and numerous international concert tours, festivals, symposiums, and conferences. In 2017, This group also released a CD and digital album of Alcala’s choral works entitled ONOMATOPOEIA: The Choral Works of Nilo Alcala.
An Asian Cultural Council grantee, Alcala is also a Billy Joel Fellow at Syracuse University where he earned an MMus in Composition and received the Irene L. Crooker Music Award. He holds a BM in Composition at the University of the Philippines, graduating Magna cum laude and recipient of Gawad Tsanselor sa Natatanging Mag-aaral (Chancellor’s Outstanding Student Award).
A versatile composer, Alcala has written music for film and other visual media and has received nominations and awards in the Philippines. He scored White Horse Pictures' “Candlestick Park: The Beatles’ Last Concert”— a promotional short film for Ron Howard’s Grammy-winning film “The Beatles: Eighth Days A Week”. Alcala was also music director of Club Six Studios, a Silicon Valley-based mobile video game company.
Committed to educating the next generation, Alcala was composer-mentor for Pasadena Master Chorale’s “Listening to the Future” program (2016-2019) for promising high school composers. In 2022, with the Rotary Club University District (RCUD - Quezon City, Philippines) Alcala has established the Rotary Club University District-Nilo Alcala Arts Scholarships or RCUD-NAAS for student artists.
photo by Jei Romanes of HypeLoveArt