Heartland Symphony Orchestra announces 2016 Composer Competition Winner

Heartland Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce Nicolas Lell Benavides’ as their 2016 Composer Competition winner. His composition entitled “ Magnetismus” will be performed at the HSO “Spring Rhapsody” concert on Saturday, April 9th at the Charles D. Martin Auditorium, Little Falls Community High School, Little Falls, MN at 7:30 PM and on Sunday, April 10th at the Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd, MN at 2:30 PM.

Residing in San Francisco, CA, Benavides’ music has been described as “wonderfully structured and harmonically imaginative…” (Brian Rosen, Music vs Theater),“intriguing… an abstraction depicting something far more concrete…” (Stephen Smoliar, Examiner.com) and “… sadly reflective… not a note was wasted” (Jeff Dunn, San Francisco Classical Voice). He has worked with prominent groups such as Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, The Bay Brass, The International Orange Chorale, Friction Quartet, and One Found Sound. His music has been featured all over North America and Europe at festivals as well as on the radio.

As the Artistic Director of the Guerrilla Composers Guild (www.guerrillamusic.org), he has been called a “new music impresario of San Francisco” (Cy Musiker, KQED Arts). As a performer he has sung with Opera San Jose, the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. Nick has regular engagements around the Bay Area as a performer, composer, and conductor, and is currently the Composer in Residence with Elevate Ensemble. Next fall (2016) he will hold a residency in Visby, Sweden.

Benavides’ has studied composition with David Conte, Jack Perla, Pamela Quist, and Kurt Rohde and has received degrees in music at Santa Clara University (BA) and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (MM). He has also studied with Philip Lasser in Paris as part of the European American Musical Alliance. He is currently the managing director of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, on faculty at the Academy of Art University, and is also a teaching artist with the San Francisco Opera.

His winning musical arrangement was one of 37 compositions received for consideration, with applicants sending their works from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Greece, Italy, Iran, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. He will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize and the opportunity to work with HSO conductor and music director, Chun-Ming Chen.

The Heartland Symphony Orchestra is a 50-piece volunteer, nonprofit, community orchestra located in and serving the central Minnesota area of Brainerd, Little Falls, and the surrounding rural communities. Musicians, from amateurs to professionals, come together once a week from all over the region to rehearse and perform three full-length orchestral music concerts each season in both Little Falls and Brainerd.

Special guest artists and conductors, local soloists and ensembles, area youth concerto winners, and charming repertoire commentary all help to make each concert unique and entertaining. The HSO also contributes its service to communities through music education programs, special events, and ticket giveaways. For more information, to receive a free HSO season brochure of upcoming concerts, to order your tickets, or to get involved either as a player or HSO sponsor, please go to website www.heartlandsymphony.com, email HSO at [email protected] or call 1-800-826-1997.