Arthur Kampela

Arthur Kampela is the winner of the 2014 Guggenheim Prize in Music Composition. From 2012-13 he was a DAAD (Berliner Künstlerprogramm) Fellow. He has also won both Guitar Composition Competitions: the 1995 Rodrigo Riera (Venezuela) and the 1998 Lamarque-Pons (Uruguay). Commissions and awards from the Neue Vocalsolisten (2015), Collegium Novum Zürich (2013), New York Philharmonic (2009), Koussevitzky Foundation Grant (2007), Fromm Music Foundation Grant at Harvard (1998), ISCM/ World Music Days Stuttgart, Germany (2006), among others.

The music of composer Arthur Kampela intersects at the point where ergonomic or physical aspects and structural concerns, interact. It is music that grows at the interstices of micro-rhythms (Micro-Metric Modulation theory) and extended-techniques, and whose formal envelope lies in the struggle of materials to cohere, finding their ultimate ‘insight” through new timbral signatures and unexpected directions. A viola played by a guitarist, a guitar duo that start playing from the back side of their instruments, the deconstruction of traditional playing techniques as in his remarkable string quartet as well as in “Antropofagia” for electric guitar and large ensemble, the use of video (as in his “…B…”) as an extra musician, or the theatrical enactment of a rehearsal situation as in “Probe” for the Neue Vocalsolisten - just to cite a few, brings a quality of urgency and uncanny beauty to Arthur Kampela’s music that resonates within, and somehow translates, our searches and creative drives.

Born in 1960 in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) he currently lives in New York City (1990-present). Composition studies at the Brazilian Conservatory of Music 1980-86 as well as privately with German Composer Hans-Joachim Koellreutter both in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In New York City he studied at Manhattan School of Music (Masters in Composition) with Ursula Mamlok (1990-92), then at Columbia University (1992–98 Doctorate degree in Composition) with Mario Davidovsky and Fred Lerdahl; also at IRCAM (Paris1991) and privately with Brian Ferneyhough (1992). He has been teaching composition and Chamber music/guitar at Columbia University 1999–present. He currently hods the visiting professor chair in Composition at Bates College in Maine, USA. Master-Classes on his Theory of MMM at Harvard, Ircam, UdK, Brazil, etc.

Recent compositional projects: “…Tak-Tak…Tak…” for the Ensemble Modern (2016-17); “Probe” for 3 female voices 2 contrabass clarinets, Neue Vocalsolisten (2015); “Das Tripas Coração” (From the guts, heart) for 2 pianists and 2 percussionists Berlin PianoPercussion, MaerzMusik (2014); “Migro” for guitarist and 5 mobile ensembles Collegium Novum Zürich, Tage Für Neue Musik (2013); “…B…” for 10 instrumental soloists, video and electronics, Darmstadt Ferienkurse, Linea Ensemble of Strasbourg (2012); “A Knife All Blade” for String Quartet, NYC Momenta Quartet (2013); “Motets” for 2 guitars, Akademie Schloss Solitude, duo Oh Mensch, Stuttgart (2011); “MACUNAÍMA” New York Philharmonic (2009); “Antropofagia” ISCM 2006 Theaterhaus Stuttgart, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin. “… My music navigates between hybridism and complexity …”

As of March 2017

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