Nico Muhly is a composer of chamber music, orchestral music, sacred music, opera, ballet, and music for collaborators across a variety of fields. He has composed on commission from St. Paul’s Cathedral and Carnegie Hall, and has written choral music for the Tallis Scholars and the Hilliard Ensemble, songs for Anne Sofie von Otter and Iestyn Davies, an encore for violinist Hilary Hahn, and a viola concerto for Nadia Sirota.
Muhly’s first full-scale opera, Two Boys, was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera, and premiered at the English National Opera in 2011 and at the Metropolitan Opera in 2013; a recording of the opera has since been released on Nonesuch Records. Dark Sisters, a chamber opera dealing with a polygamist family, was commissioned by the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Music Theatre Group, and the Gotham Chamber Opera, and was premiered in New York in 2012. Recently, the Metropolitan Opera has commissioned him to compose Marnie for its 2019-20 season, based on Winston Graham’s 1961 novel that was adapted into an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
Muhly has scored ballets for choreographer Benjamin Millepied and films including Best Picture nominee The Reader and Sundance selection Kill Your Darlings, in addition to arranging music by Antony & the Johnsons, Björk, Grizzly Bear, and the National. His debut CD Speak Volumes was the first of many collaborations with the artists of Reykjavik’s Bedroom Community label, and with singer/songwriter Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), he is half of the gamelan-inspired song project Peter Pears.
Born in Vermont and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, Muhly graduated from Columbia University with a degree in English Literature. In 2004, he received a Master’s in Music from the Juilliard School, where he studied under Christopher Rouse and John Corigliano. From his sophomore year of college, he worked for Philip Glass as a MIDI programmer and editor for six years. He lives in New York City.
Muhly joins us for the West Coast premiere of Wish You Were Here on Saturday, August 15th; as well, he will be featured pianist in his own chamber work, Two Voices, with Concertmaster Justin Bruns, at the Music in the Mountains concert, Thursday, August 13th.