Nicolás Aguía is a composer from Bogotá, Colombia. Aguia received two bachelor’s degrees: one in music from Sergio Arboleda University and one in Philosophy from the Pontifical Xavierian University. He received his M.M in Music Theory and Composition from New York University (Steinhardt), and has studied composition with Ricardo Márquez Romero, Ezequiel Viñao, Eric Moe, Amy Williams, and Mathew Rosenblum. Ensembles and performers such as Sonia Diaz, the JACK Quartet, TAK Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, Loadbang, Duo Cortona, Duo Jacarandá, Bearthoven and Sonic Apricity have performed his music in the United States, Italy, and Colombia. His musical style is characterized by pulsating rhythms and prolonged harmonic fields that change gradually and conceives form as an extension of the rhythmic patterns and melodic motives used to structure his works. Aguia also explores heterophonic textures, expanding musical material through the gradual ornamentation of a main melodic line. In August 2021, the Orfeo Choir from Bogotá premiered an evening length work titled “The American Poetry Choral Cabaret”, a collaboration with transdisciplinary artist Alfonso José Venegas. It is a choral song cycle and performative art piece that sets texts of different American poets from the 18th and 19th century, including: Walt Whitman, Phillis Wheatley, Emily Dickinson, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Frances Ellen Watkins. “The American Poetry Choral Cabaret” won the Small Grants Project sponsored by the United States Embassy in Colombia. He received the “Premio Especial” for his String Quartet “Melismas Espectrales” in the Second String Quartet National Composition Competition of Colombia, in 2020; and the 2022 Winner of the William Thomas McKinley Alumni Commission to write a piece for the Estrella Consort that is going to be premiered at the Alba International Music Festival. He was a Composer Fellow at the Alba Composition Festival in 2019 and composer in the Artist in Residency Program at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Pittsburgh. His areas of scholarly research include Latin American Philosophy, Mimetic Theory and Violence, Music and Memory and the literary work of Gamaliel Churata, and has presented his work in musicology, ethnomusicology and cultural studies conferences. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D. in Music Theory and Composition at the University of Pittsburgh.
Emmanuel Berrido (b.1986) is a Dominican-American composer with a passion for telling stories through sound. His work has been performed by a variety of artists including the JACK Quartet and the Amernet String Quartet, cellists Megan Chartier, and Craig Mehler, violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved, and the Illinois Modern Ensemble. Recent experiences have included performances at the American Composer's Orchestra EarShot Readings with the Grand Rapids Symphony, the New Music Miami Festival, the Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival, and the Ball State University Festival of New Music. He was the recipient of the Louis Smadbeck Composition Prize in Ithaca, NY, for his work "Bend the Knee" for brass quintet, the Ithaca College Orchestral Composition Competition for his "Danza Ritual" for orchestra, and the 2022 Pittsburgh Composer’s Project by ensemble NAT 28. His composition mentors include Eric Moe, Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann, Evis Sammoutis, and Orlando Jacinto García. Emmanuel is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Composition and Music Theory at the University of Pittsburgh and serves as staff member at the Valencia International Performance Academy and Festival, and the New Music on the Point festival.
Xinyang Wang is a composer of classical contemporary music, currently based in Pittsburgh. Wang is receiving a Ph.D. in Music Composition and Theory at the University of Pittsburgh, under the tutorship of renowned composers, Profs. Eric Moe, Mathew Rosenblum, and Amy Williams.
Wang takes a broad spectrum of influences from both the Eastern and Western hemispheres. His music shows excellent skills, depth, and musicality and “balances an onomatopoeic soundworld with a delicate harmonic sophistication and witty, imaginative, capricious orchestration (Thomas Adès, and on the “Modern Music” program of NHK).
Wang receives numerous honors, such as the First Prize of the prestigious 2020 Toru Takemitsu Composition Award. Some notable music events, such as the 2021 Tanglewood Music Festival and the 2022 Beijing Modern Music Festival, have featured Wang at the event. He has worked with world-class interpreters and orchestras such as the Tokyo Philharmonic and Hong Kong New Music Ensemble.