Muhly, Nico

Nico Muhly
Nico Muhly 2014.jpg
Nico Muhly in 2014
Born (1981-08-26) August 26, 1981 (age 36)
Vermont, United States
Residence New York City
Alma mater
Years active 2005 – present
Home town Providence, Rhode Island
Website www.nicomuhly.com

Nico Muhly (/ˈnk ˈmjuːli/; born August 26, 1981) is an American contemporary classical music composer and arranger[1] who has worked and recorded with both classical and pop musicians. He currently lives in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, in New York City. He is a member of the Icelandic music collective/recording label Bedroom Community.

Biography

Early years

Muhly was born in Vermont to Bunny Harvey,[2] a painter and teacher at Wellesley College, and Frank Muhly, a documentary filmmaker.[3] Muhly was raised in Providence, Rhode Island, and sang in the choir at Grace Episcopal Church in Providence.[4] He began studying piano at age 10.[3]

Muhly went on to study at the Wheeler School in Providence. He attended Columbia University, where he received a degree in English, and the Juilliard School, where he completed a Master's degree in music. He also studied composition with John Corigliano and Christopher Rouse.[5]

Musical works

In 2005, Muhly was commissioned by Colorado Academy, a private school in Colorado, to write a song for the opening of their new Fine Arts building.

Muhly worked in collaboration with Björk on the DVD single "Oceania" in 2004,[6] and he worked with Philip Glass as an editor, conductor, and keyboardist.[6]

In 2006, he released his first album of works, titled Speaks Volumes.[7] In 2008, he released his second album, titled Mothertongue.[8][9]

In 2009, Muhly did choral and string quartet arrangements for four of the songs on Brooklyn-based indie rock band Grizzly Bear's third album, Veckatimest,[10] and he worked with Antony and the Johnsons on the albums The Crying Light and Swanlights.

In a 2007 interview with Molly Sheridan on NewMusicBox, Muhly explained that while he considers himself a classical music composer, that does not preclude his working in a variety of musical genres: "It's essentially like being from somewhere. I feel like I'm very proudly from the classical tradition. It's like being from Nebraska. Like you are from there if you're from there. It doesn't mean that you can't have a productive life somewhere else. The notion of your genre being something that you have to actively perform, I think is pretty vile."[11]

Muhly worked on two commissions for the UK-based Britten Sinfonia, performed in January and February 2010. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival commissioned "Drones & Piano" for pianist Bruce Brubaker, which premiered in May 2010.[12]

Muhly's opera Two Boys, a collaboration with librettist Craig Lucas and directed by Bartlett Sher, premiered in June 2011 at the English National Opera and made its Metropolitan Opera debut on October 21, 2013.[13][14][15] According to a 2008 New York Times article, the opera is based on a late-1990s British case involving a 14-year-old boy taking on the online identity of women to try to get someone to kill him, without success.[16] However, in a 2008 interview with The Advocate, Muhly stated that the opera is based on the true story of an online friendship between two male teenagers, one of whom kills the other.[3] The opera was re-worked both before and after its 2011 premiere. The first recording of the piece, from the Met production, was released on Nonesuch Records in 2014.[17]

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Commissioning Club, Cantus, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Alfred P. and Ann M. Moore commissioned Luminous Body, also a collaboration with librettist Craig Lucas. The piece premiered on September 9, 2011.[18]

In 2013, he toured with Glen Hansard. They performed together with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Eindhoven and Amsterdam.

His 2008 musical collaboration, Confessions, with Faroese singer-songwriter Teitur was released in 2016 by Nonesuch Records.

Compositions and projects

Choral

  • 2003 Set Me as a Seal
  • 2004 First Service
  • 2004 Like as the Hart
  • 2005 A Good Understanding
  • 2005 Bright Mass with Canons
  • 2005 Expecting the Main Things from You
  • 2005 I Cannot Attain Unto It
  • 2006 The Sweets of Evening
  • 2007 Syllables
  • 2008 Pater Noster
  • 2008 Senex Puerum Portabat
  • 2009 I Drink the Air Before Me
  • 2011 Luminous Body
  • 2011 Grief Is the Price We Pay for Love
  • 2013 An Outrage (BBC commission)
  • 2014 Sentences

Film

Opera

Incidental

Orchestra

  • 2001–2002 Fits & Bursts
  • 2003 Out of the Loop
  • 2004 By All Means
  • 2004 So to Speak
  • 2006 It Remains to Be Seen
  • 2006 Wish You Were Here
  • 2007 From Here on Out
  • 2007 Seeing is Believing
  • 2008 Step Team
  • 2009 The Only Tune
  • 2009 Drones on O Lord, Whose Mercies Numberless
  • 2009 Vocalise on Al lampo dell' armi
  • 2009 Impossible Things
  • 2010 Detailed Instructions
  • 2011 Edge of the World
  • 2012 So Far So Good
  • 2012 Gait (BBC commission)
  • 2012 Cello Concerto
  • 2013 Bright Mass with Cannons
  • 2014 Viola Concerto
  • 2015 Mixed Messages

Piano

  • 2003 Three Études for Piano
  • 2005 A Hudson Cycle
  • 2005 Pillaging Music
  • 2007 Skip Town
  • 2010 Drones & Piano

Percussion

  • 2002 Beaming Music
  • 2003 Time after Time
  • 2004 It's About Time
  • 2005 Ta & Clap
  • 2008 I Shudder to Think

Small ensemble

  • 2002 Beaming Music
  • 2003 Clear Music
  • 2003 Flexible Music
  • 2003 Duet No 1: Chorale Pointing Downwards
  • 2003 Reading into it
  • 2004 By All Means[20]
  • 2004 You Could Have Asked Me
  • 2004 Ta and Clap
  • 2005 The Elements of Style
  • 2005 Stride
  • 2005 Pillaging Music
  • 2006 How About Now
  • 2006 Fast Music with Folk Songs
  • 2007 I Know Where Everything Is
  • 2007 Principles of Uncertainty
  • 2008 Triade
  • 2008 Mothertongue
  • 2008 Wonders
  • 2008 The Only Tune
  • 2008 Common Ground
  • 2009 I Drink the Air Before Me
  • 2009 Motion
  • 2009 Farewell Photography
  • 2010 Drones & Piano
  • 2011 Drones & Viola
  • 2012 Drones & Violin
  • 2012 Planetarium

Solo

  • 2002 Radiant Music
  • 2003 Honest Music[21]
  • 2003 A Long Line
  • 2005 Keep in Touch
  • 2005 Pillaging Music
  • 2005 It Goes without Saying

Voice

  • 2003 Employment
  • 2005 The Elements of Style
  • 2007 Mothertongue
  • 2007 Wonders
  • 2007 The Only Tune
  • 2008 The Adulteress
  • 2009 Drones on "O Lord, Whose Mercies Numberless"
  • 2009 Vocalise on "Al lampo dell' armi"
  • 2009 Impossible Things

Arrangements and orchestrations

Discography

  • 2007 – Speaks Volumes (Bedroom Community HVALUR1) (Includes Clear Music; It Goes without Saying; Honest Music; Quiet Music; Pillaging Music; A Hudson Cycle and Keep in Touch)
  • 2008 – Joshua (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by various artists (Moviescore Media)
  • 2008 – Mothertongue (Bedroom Community HVALUR5CD / Brassland (North America only)) (Includes Mothertongue I: Archive; Mothertongue II: Shower; Mothertongue III: Hress; Mothertongue IV: Monster; Wonders: I. New Things & New Tidings; Wonders: II. The Devil Appear'd in the Shape of a Man; Wonders: III. A Complaint against Thomas Weelkes; The Only Tune: I. The Two Sisters; The Only Tune: II. The Old Mill Pond; and The Only Tune: III. The Only Tune)
  • 2009 – The Reader (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by various artists (Lakeshore Records)
  • 2010 – I Drink the Air Before Me (Bedroom Community HVALUR10, Decca/Universal Classics 478 257)
  • 2010 – A Good Understanding by Los Angeles Master Chorale (also includes five other choral works) (Decca/Universal Classics 478 250)[25]
  • 2011 – Seeing is Believing by the Aurora Orchestra (Decca/Universal Classics 478 273. Released 10 June 2011.
  • 2012 – Drones with Bruce Brubaker (piano), Nadia Sirota (viola) and Pekka Kuusisto (violin) (Bedroom Community HVALUR16)
  • 2013 – Cycles with James McVinnie, (organ), Nadia Sirota (viola), Chris Thompson (percussion) and Simon Wall, tenor (Bedroom Community HVALUR19)
  • 2014 – Two Boys from the Metropolitan Opera production (Nonesuch Records 541941)
  • 2016 – Keep In Touch by Nico Muhly & Nadia Sirota (Bedroom Community HVALUR26)
  • 2016 – Confessions by Nico Muhly & Teitur (Nonesuch Records 556783)
  • 2017 – Planetarium with Bryce Dessner, James McAlister, and Sufjan Stevens (4AD 4AD0009)

References

Notes

  1. ^ Nico Muhly Biography, Nicomuhly.com, retrieved 2012-12-06 
  2. ^ Bunny Harvey
  3. ^ a b c Richards, Charlie. "Boy Wonder", The Advocate, 12 August 2008, Retrieved on 20 November 2017
  4. ^ Muhly, Nico (April 28, 2007). "Choral sex". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  5. ^ Ross, Alex (November 28, 2011). "The Long Haul: Nico Muhly's first two operas". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Davies, Lucie (August 20–27, 2008), "Nico Muhly", Now, pp. Vol. 27, Number 51, retrieved 22 May 2009 
  7. ^ Speaks Volumes
  8. ^ David MacFadden-Elliott (2008). "Nico Muhly". Crawdaddy!. Archived from the original on December 30, 2008. 
  9. ^ Mothertongue
  10. ^ Muhly, Nico (1 March 2009), The Latest News, Nico Muhly, retrieved 5 March 2009 
  11. ^ "Defining Nico Muhly", NewMusicBox, March 2007]
  12. ^ "Nico Muhly work to be given world premiere at Gilmore International Keyboard Festival". Muso. 29 April 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  13. ^ Wakin, Daniel J. (2010-02-13). "Muhly and Lucas's Opera First Met-Lincoln Center Project". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "Sher to Stage Lucas-Muhly Opera at the Met and English National Opera". Playbill.com. 2010-02-12. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  15. ^ "Does Nico Muhly's new opera live up to the hype?" by Michael White, The Daily Telegraph (28 June 2011)
  16. ^ Wakin, Daniel (27 August 2008), "Pop Singer Drops Plan to Compose for the Met", The New York Times, pp. E1, retrieved 13 October 2008 
  17. ^ "Recording of Metropolitan Opera Production of Nico Muhly's Two Boys Out Now on Nonesuch". Retrieved October 29, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Luminous Body (world premiere, SPCO commission)". Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. 9 September 2011. 
  19. ^ "Arts: The Guide – Saturday March 16" by Choire Sicha, The New York Times, April 10, 2005
  20. ^ Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra program notes, Laco.org
  21. ^ "Honest Music, Nico Muhly". Chesternovello.com. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  22. ^ "Confessions tour". Confessions-tour.com. Retrieved 2012-12-06. [dead link]
  23. ^ Wood, Mikael (20 January 2009), "Review: Antony and the Johnsons' The Crying Light", Boston Phoenix 
  24. ^ "Run Rabbit Run | Asthmatic Kitty Records". Asthmatickitty.com. 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  25. ^ "Culture Monster". The Los Angeles Times. 18 June 2010. 

Sources