Charles Halka writes acoustic and electronic music for concert, dance, and opera, and his works are often inspired by language, visual imagery, movement, and human experience. His music has been performed worldwide by ensembles including the Mexican National Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Opera Studio, counter)induction (NY), Volti (SF), ÓNIX Ensamble (Mexico), PRO ARTE eNsemble (Russia), Aquarius (Belgium), Duplum Dúo (Mexico), Jauna Muzika (Lithuania), and Pictures on Silence (Baltimore), among others. As a 2008-09 U.S. Fulbright grantee, he spent a year in Vilnius, Lithuania researching Lithuanian music and writing an opera, Julius, in collaboration with director and librettist Marija Simona Šimulynaitė that premiered in 2010; a choral excerpt from the opera was performed in Belgium at the ISCM World Music Days 2012. In 2011, Round and Round, based on a work by the American music patron Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, was premiered at the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress, and in 2013 a revised version premiered in Hong Kong at the Intimacy of Creativity partnership led by composer Bright Sheng.
Halka is Composer+Intern at Musiqa, Houston’s critically acclaimed new-music organization, and has been Artist in Residence at the Foundation for Modern Music (Houston). In addition, he completed residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the M.K. Sarbievijaus Cultural Center in Kražiai, Lithuania, where he wrote a chamber opera for the Baltic Chamber Opera Theater that was selected for Fort Worth Opera’s 2015 Frontiers showcase. Imaginary Spaces, his recent dance and percussion project in collaboration with the Houston dance company, Frame Dance Productions, was awarded support from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.
He earned undergraduate and master’s degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and a doctoral degree from Rice University; his primary composition teachers were Michael Hersch, Judah Adashi, Osvaldas Balakauskas, Richard Lavenda, Kurt Stallmann, Pierre Jalbert, and Arthur Gottschalk. Halka currently teaches composition and music theory at Stephen F. Austin State University, and has taught courses at Rice University and The Peabody Conservatory.
Halka debuts at the Cabrillo Festival with the West Coast premiere of Impact, performed during two Grand Finale performances at Mission San Juan Bautista, Sunday, August 16th.