Patrick Castillo leads a multifaceted career as a composer, performer, writer, and educator. His music has been described as “restrained and reflective but brimming with a variety of texture and sound that draws you into its world” (I Care If You Listen) and has been presented at festivals and venues throughout the United States and internationally, including Spoleto Festival USA, June in Buffalo, the Santa Fe New Music Festival, the Queens New Music Festival, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Berklee College of Music, Tenri Cultural Institute, Bavarian Academy of Music (Munich), the Nuremberg Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Havana Contemporary Music Festival.
Recent season highlights include the world premieres of Dreamers often lie for violin and spoken word, Music for the Third Place for violin and electronics, The Conversation of Prayers for soprano and ensemble, and Oxford Alley for chamber orchestra; the German premiere of Cirque for solo violin; and the third New York performance of This is the hour of lead, a chamber cantata for mezzo-soprano and ensemble; as well as premiere performances of Patrick Castillo’s chamber works by Anti-Social Music, Ensemble 61, Forecast Music, the Interlochen Chamber Players, the Society for New Music, the Pharos Music Project, and others.
Castillo is variously active as an explicator of music to a wide range of listeners. He has provided program and liner notes for numerous concert series and recording companies: most prolifically for Music@Menlo, a chamber music festival and institute in Silicon Valley for which he served as Artistic Administrator for more than ten years. In this latter capacity, he has led a variety of pre-concert discussion events; designed outreach presentations for middle and high school students; and authored, narrated, and produced the widely acclaimed AudioNotes series of listener’s guides to the chamber music literature. Patrick Castillo has been a guest lecturer at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, for whose Late Night Rose series he serves as host; Fordham University; the University of Georgia; the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; the Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass (Kentucky); String Theory at the Hunter (Chattanooga, TN); and ChamberFest Cleveland. From 2010 to 2013, he served as Senior Director of Artistic Planning of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He is founding composer and managing director of Third Sound; in 2016, he was appointed Executive Director of Hotel Elefant.
Castillo holds degrees in music composition and sociology from Vassar College, where his teachers included Lois V Vierk, Annea Lockwood, and Richard Wilson. He has also participated in master classes with John Harbison, Alvin Lucier, Roger Reynolds, and Charles Wuorinen. While at Vassar, he served as composer-in-residence for the Mahagonny Ensemble, a collective of performers specializing in twentieth-century music. His Requiem aeternam for mixed chorus and chamber ensemble, composed for the Mahagonny, was awarded the 2001 Jean Slater Edson Prize. He has also been the recipient of the Brian M. Israel Prize, awarded by the Society for New Music for his chamber work Lola.
The Quality of Mercy, an album of Patrick Castillo’s vocal chamber music featuring mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer, has been praised as “affecting and sensitively orchestrated… [a] gorgeous, masterfully crafted canvas” (Cleveland Classical), and is available on innova Recordings (www.innova.mu).