Vincent Calianno (b. 1979) is an award-winning composer and sound designer for the concert hall, film and new media. His music is inspired by the renegade eloquence of the American vernacular, “blurring the boundaries between fine art and popular culture” (according to VICE magazine).
Calianno’s works have been commissioned and performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, the JACK Quartet, the Nouveau Classical Project, Tactus, Ossia, and Artifact. His orchestral works have been commissioned by the NYU Symphony, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and the Iowa State University Symphony.
In addition to his concert works, Calianno also scores for film and new media. Most recently, he scored and produced the sound design for the first season of the Sarah Award winning audio drama, Voices of the Revolution. He has also scored for short and feature films, industrials, and advertising. His commercial credits include music for Adecco, Morgan Stanley, and AlixPartners campaigns. Furthermore, his passion for silent cinema has led him to compose new scores to La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
Season highlights include the Thalea String Quartet premiere of The History of the String Quartet in its Natural Habitat for in December 2018 in San Francisco. The Artifact Dance Project will stage versions of several of works for strings, percussion, piano and electronics as part of their Positions of Power program of their 2018-19 season. In addition, Calianno is working completing the score and sound design for the first season of Voices of the Revolution.
His awards include the ASCAP Rudolf Nissim Prize for his orchestral work The Facts and Dreams of the World According to Michael Jackson, the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Award, the Sarah Awards, the American Composers Forum, the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, the Howard Hanson Prize, and fellowships include the Alan Menken Fellowship, and the Banff Centre.
Calianno holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (BM), the Eastman School of Music (MA), the University of Illinois (DMA) and New York University (MM). His principal teachers have included John Luther Adams, Lewis Nielson, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Zack Browning, Mark Suozzo and Livingston Gearhart.
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I believe in actually creating new music, not lumping together an array of extended techniques and passé effects and calling it new music;
I believe in creating art that experiments and investigates with acumen and with naïveté; in creating art that, above all things, aspires to transcend and illuminate – art where the spirit works with the hand, not against it;
In creating music that is free from the elitist, inaccessible, self-absorbed and self-righteous attitude of certain sects of American new music composers and their parasites, whose crabby, cliché-ridden, irrelevant and solipsistic music touches no hearts and inspires no souls.
I believe that my music should find an aesthetic that balances my conservatory upbringings with my American ‘maverick’ sensibilities;
I believe in creating art that is at once rich with musical metaphor and allusion but also accesses fresh and truly current trends in the visual and all other aural arts;
In creating art that is vernacular, polystylistic, self-referential and ironic which can be accessible to the listener and performer without feeling that the music is plastic or an iconic bastard;
In creating art that has a luminous, attractive and comprehensible surface but also has a stable, rich and compositional core;