Through some one hundred and forty works composed for a wide range of performance genres, Orlando Jacinto Garcia has established himself as an important figure in the new music world. The distinctive character of his music has been described as “time suspended- haunting sonic explorations” – qualities he developed from his studies with Morton Feldman among others. Born in Havana, Cuba in 1954, Garcia migrated to the United States in 1961 and received his DMA in Music Composition from the University of Miami in 1984. A long list of distinguished soloists, ensembles, and orchestras have presented his music at numerous festivals and recitals in most of the major capitols of the world. Recent premieres of his music include those in Holland, France, Spain, Italy, England, and throughout Latin America, the US, and Canada.
In demand as a guest composer and lecturer at national and international festivals, he is the recipient of numerous honors and awards from a variety of organizations and cultural institutions. These include two Fulbright artist/lectureships, the first of which took place in Caracas, Venezuela during 1991-92 where Garcia presented master classes, assisted with the set up and development of the Center for Electro-Acoustic Music and Research at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, completed several new works, and conducted and presented premieres of his music. A second Fulbright, this time a Senior Lectureship was realized in Salamanca, Spain during 1996-97 at the Universidad de Salamanca where he presented a graduate analysis course, composition seminars, completed new works, and conducted his music.
Additional recognition for his work has come from the Rockefeller Foundation in the form of a summer residency at their Center in Bellagio, Italy during 1999 where he completed a new work for the Caracas based Orquesta Sinfonica Simon Bolivar. The orchestra premiered the work as part of the Festival Latinoamericano de Musica held in Venezuela in the fall of 2002. A recording of the premiere was released on New Albion Records in 2004. Further support from the Rockefeller Foundation includes a visiting artist residency at the American Academy in Rome during the summer of 2000 where he completed a new piece for the Juilliard based Continuum Ensemble. The new work premiered in the fall of 2000 as part of Continuum’s tour of Latin America and as part of the Sonic Boom Festival in the fall of 2001. Garcia is also a two-time Cintas Foundation Fellowship winner (1994-95 and 1999-2000) supporting the creation of new works for distinguished soloists and ensembles here and abroad. More recently his works have been nominated for Latin Grammys in 2009, 2010, and 2011 in the best contemporary classical composition category.
Other awards include a 2001 State of Florida composer’s fellowship, first prize in Mexico’s Nuevas Resonancias competition, and a first prize in the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation (JDAF) 2001 competition. As part of the prize Garcia completed a new solo cello work for Maya Beiser who premiered it at the JDAF awards ceremony held in NYC 5/01. The work was subsequently recorded and released on Innova Recordings. In the summer of 2001 his work imagenes sonidos congelados for violin and fixed media was selected as part of the Sonic Circuits competition and was later selected for performance at the 2003 ICMC in Singapore. In 2003 a new work for piano/disklavier and electronics, written for Kathleen Supove was premiered at New York University. Another work for fixed media, temporal was presented at the 2006 ICMC in New Orleans and at the 2006 International Electro-acoustic Music Festival in Santiago de Chile.
Other performances of note include his work Auschwitz (nunca se olvidaran) for orchestra and choir, given its NY premiere October 2003 by the Brooklyn Philharmonic with the Trinity Church Choir and again in 2010 with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the NYU Singers, 2004 and 2005 portrait concerts of his music realized in New York City and Amsterdam, Holland by the Electronic Music Foundation and the Barton Workshop respectively, premieres of his electroacoustic works at the ICMC in New Orleans 2004, FEAMF 2005, and SEAMUS Festivals 2007, 2008, and 2011 and his collaborations with video artists Jacek Kolasinski and John Stuart which have resulted in new works for video, electronics, and soloist/chamber ensemble premiered at the International Music Festival in Lima Peru, the Cervantino Festival in Mexico, and the Ear to the Earth Festival in NYC during 2007, 2008, and 2010.
Garcia’s experimental video opera, transcending time, premiered in April 2009 at the Biennale in Zagreb, Croatia by the Cantus Ensemble. The work for chamber orchestra and 5 singers includes videos by Stuart and Kolasinski as well as text by MacArthur Foundation winning poet Campbell McGrath. More recently Garcia’s orchestra work In Memoriam Earle Brown, received its premiered in February 2011 by the Miami Symphony Orchestra.
With over 140 works in his catalog, his music is recorded on O.O. Discs, CRI (Emergency Music, eXchange Series), Albany, North/South, CRS, Capstone, Rugginenti, New Albion, Innova, VDM, CNMAS, New World, and Opus One Records and is available from Kallisti Music Press and the American Composers Alliance. The founder and director of several international music festivals including the New Music Miami Festival and the Music of the Americas Festival, as well as the NODUS Ensemble and the FIU New Music Ensemble, Garcia is Professor of Music, and director of the School of Music at Florida International University in Miami.
(photo by Jessica Rodriguez)