Francisco Castillo Trigueros (b. 1983) is a composer of contemporary chamber, orchestral and electronic music from Mexico City residing in New York. He has received numerous distinctions such as the Jury 1st prize at the Edes Prize, NEM Young Composers International Forum, the BMI Student Composer Award, honorable mentions in the 2010 and 2011 Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, and four nominations for the Gaudeamus Prize in The Netherlands.
Castillo Trigueros has worked extensively with intercultural ensembles. His intercultural work draws from his multi-cultural raising in Mexico, and deals with issues of identity, diversity, and hybridity. It presents diversity while creating unity. In his work Prisma, for oboe, 6 East Asian instruments, and strings, the distinctive eastern and western sound worlds are blended together to create a unified fluid timbre.
Francisco has also composed numerous pieces for traditional music ensembles and orchestras, often including the use of electronics. His pieces are often inspired by visual art. His work Nealika, which he wrote in 2009-10 for eighth blackbird, is inspired by the fluid symmetry and colorful patterns found in Huichol visual art. His work Emblema | Blau for flute, string quartet, and percussion, is structured using one of the most emblematic figures in Mexican culture: the pyramid.
Francisco's recent collaboration with biochemist Josiah Zayner on The Chromochord, an instrument that allows the sonification of nano-sized light-responsive proteins found in plants, has been featured in several publications including Scientific American.
Orchestras, ensembles and performers that have performed his music include the Holland Symfonia, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Chicago Composers Orchestra, eighth blackbird, ensemble dal niente, Atlas Ensemble, Nieuw Ensemble, Asko Ensemble, Pacifica String Quartet, Spektral String Quartet, Fonema Consort, Jason Alder, Brian Conelly, Ryan Muncy, and Shanna Gutierrez.
His mentors and teachers include Augusta Read Thomas, Shulamit Ran, Kotoka Susuki, Howard Sandroff at the University of Chicago; Theo Loevendie, Richard Ayres, Fabio Nieder at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam; Shih-Hui Chen, Kurt Stallman, Pierre Jalbert at Rice University; and Haruko Shimizu and Jose Tavarez in Mexico City.
Castillo Trigueros recently obtained a Ph.D at the University of Chicago, where he served as Computer Music Studio Manager for three years.
Prizes + Commissions
BMI Student Composer Award for Nealíka for Flute, Violoncello, Percussion, & Piano - 2011
ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Honorable Mention for Prisma for Oboe, six East Asian Instruments and Strings - 2011
Wadmond Award - 2011
Atlas Ensemble Commission: Mestizo for Soprano and Intercultural Ensemble - 2010
Gaudeamus Music Prize nomination: Prisma for Oboe, six East Asian Instruments and Strings - 2010
Gaudeamus Music Prize nomination: XXX for Orchestra - 2010
Gaudeamus Music Week Prize nomination: Solar for Intercultural Ensemble - 2008
Wagoner Scholarship: to support Master’s studies in the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, with a focus in composition for intercultural ensembles - 2006
Brotzen Summer Travel Award: to support travel to Buenos Aires to study contemporary tango - 2005
Edes Prize for Emerging Artists - 2015
1st Prize, NEM 12e Forum International des Jeunes Compositeurs for Utrecht for Large Ensemble - 2014
Gaudeamus Music Prize Nomination for Sur les debris - 2014
Ensemble Dal Niente Commission: Geografías for voice and chamber ensemble - Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation - 2014
Nouvel Ensemble Moderne Commission: Utrecht for Large Ensemble - 2014
Parlour Tapes+ Commission: timesthree(4).mus for MIDI playback - 2014
Gaudeamus Music Week Commission: Resti for Ensemble Looptail - 2014
University of Chicago Arts|Science Graduate Collaboration Grant: for research on sonification of microbiologic data and creation of biotechnological instrument - 2013
Duo A/B Commission: Duo for flute and percussion - 2013
Spektral Quartet Commission: Tlal for String Quartet and Electronics - 2013
ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Honorable Mention for Mestizo for Soprano and International Ensemble - 2012
CNMAT, University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA): Different approaches to composing with media, October 21, 2016.
University of Central Missouri (Warrensburg, MO): Different approaches to composing with media, October 18, 2016.
University of Chicago Alumni Weekend, Art, Science and Culture Initiative’s Uncommon Conversation (Chicago, IL): The Chromochord, June 3, 2015.
Edes Prize Conference (Chicago, IL): Xilitla - A multimedia song-cycle portraying and documenting a surreal town in Mexico, March 5, 2015.
Neukom Institute, Dartmouth University (Hanover, NH): Composing for Light-Responsive Proteins, March 5, 2015.
Salford Sonic Fusion Festival (Manchester, England): Composing for Light-Responsive Proteins, February 20, 2015.
University of Chicago Computer Music Studio (Chicago, IL): Composing for Light-Responsive Proteins, February 11, 2015.
St. Mark’s School (Southborough, MA): Gray Colloquium Keynote Speech on Arts & Technology, March 27, 2014.
Northwestern University Composition Seminar (Chicago, IL): Presentation on Sonification of Biochemical Data and The Chromochord, May 20, 2014.
University of Chicago Humanities Day (Chicago, IL): Panel on Arts|Science Collaboration, October 19, 2013.
Columbia College Chicago Digital Music Seminar (Chicago, IL): Presentation on Sonification of Biochemical Data and The Chromochord, September 13, 2013.
Arts|Science Initiative Presentations (Chicago, IL): Presentation on Sonification of Biochemical Data and The Chromochord, May 8, 2013.
Atlas Academy 2012 – Lecture on Mestizo and Composing for Intercultural Ensembles, August 23, 2012.
SEAMUS 2011 – Lecture on paper: Concrete Time: New Concepts of Time in Musique Concrète, January 21, 2011.
Conservatorium van Amsterdam – Lecture on Prisma and Composing for Intercultural Ensemble, September 6, 2010.
University of Chicago – Lecture on Prisma and Composing for Intercultural Ensemble, February 15, 2010.
Conservatorium van Amsterdam – Seminar on Stockhausen’s Gruppen, May, 29th, 2010.
Articles + Publications
Francisco's research in digital music focuses on musique concrète, on the degradation of audio as a creative tool in electronic music, and on sonification, the conversion and utilization of non‐musical data into musical content.
Click on the images below to read Francisco's papers Concrete Time: New Concepts of Time in Musique Concrète, Composing for light-responsive proteins: An overview of sonification practices and a summary of "The Chromochord Installation", and his interviews with Jonathan Harvey and Marco Stroppa.