The music of composer Antonio Juan-Marcos has been described as “seductive and sensitive” (ResMusica), music that “introduces rich acoustic universes” (Diapason), filled with “beautiful, mysterious, and delicate atmospheres” (Musikzen). Having gained renown for his instrumental ensemble and orchestral music, Juan-Marco’s work also reaches across disciplines, and he often collaborates with authors, poets, video artists, and early music specialists. Literature is often a point of departure in Juan-Marcos’s work, ranging from 18th-century Italian sonnets to contemporary Latin American fiction and poetry.
Juan-Marcos was recently awarded the 2018 American Prize in Composition – Orchestral Division for his work Amanece (2015) for countertenor soloist and orchestra, a setting of poems by the famed Mexican author Octavio Paz on the occasion of his birth centenary. In 2017, Juan-Marcos was distinguished with the Nicola Di Lorenzo Prize in Music Composition by the Department of Music at the University of California, Berkeley — a second time — for his monodrama Tum Tambor (2017). The work, scored for countertenor, ensemble, and video, was inspired by the short story “Macario,” by prominent Latin American author Juan Rulfo whose work was foundational to the genre of “magical realism.” Juan-Marcos received his first Nicola Di Lorenzo Prize in 2016 for Nocturno Eléctrico, a concerto for electric guitar and orchestra, which also received the 2017 Gold Medal and the highest honor distinction of the jury by the Global Music Awards. Also, in 2016, he was awarded the Eisner Prize for the Highest Achievement in the Creative Arts by the University of California, Berkeley.
Recent premieres of Juan-Marcos’s work include Canto de Semillas (Song of Seeds), commissioned by Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and Mandrami, commissioned by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Mexico City. Both performances took place in October 2018.
Other recent projects have included the world premiere of Tum Tambor – co-commissioned by Ensemble 2e2m and Festival Internacional Cervantino (Mexico) – in October 2017 and Paesaggi Corporei – settings of four sonnets attributed to Antonio Vivaldi, composed as a companion to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. It was premiered and commissioned by the ensemble Les Folies françoises to massive acclaim at the 2017 baroque music festival Sinfonia en Périgod (France). Juan-Marcos is notedly only the third composer to receive a commission from Les Folies françoises – the first two being Kaija Saariaho (2009) and Thierry Pécou (2013). Additional commissions included new orchestral music for some of the most important Mexican national orchestras.
The music of Antonio Juan-Marcos has been presented in the United States, France, Belgium, Spain and his native Mexico under the direction of conductors such as Pierre Roullier, José Aréan, Patrick Cohën-Akenine, and David Milnes among many others who have championed his work. Additionally, Juan-Marcos’s pieces are included in the repertoires of prestigious ensembles and orchestras among them, the Orchestre National de Lorraine, Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble 2e2m, Les Folies françoises and L’Instant Donné. His piece for cello and electronics El Afilador was recorded by the cellist Marie Ythier for Evidence Classics Records and distributed by Harmonia Mundi.
Born in Mexico City, Antonio Juan-Marcos began his musical training studying classical guitar, later studying composition, piano, and guitar at the Boston Conservatory. In 2003 he continued his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Danse de Paris, where he graduated with honors with the piece Arder Aprender. Later, he attended the Electroacoustic Composition Courses at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris (2012-2013). Throughout his education, Juan-Marcos has had the privilege to present works at festivals and academies across North America and Europe and his mentors have included renowned contemporary composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Osvaldo Golijov, Stefano Gervasoni, Philippe Leroux, and Franck Bedrossian.
Juan-Marcos is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Music Composition at the University of California, Berkeley where he also teaches harmony and theory. His music is distributed and published by Filarmonika Music Publishing. More information can be found at www.antoniocomposer.com