Carnegie Hall Commissions
Born in Vermont in 1981 and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, Nico Muhly graduated from Columbia University in 2003 with a degree in English Literature. In 2004 he received his master’s degree from The Juilliard School, where he studied composition under Christopher Rouse and John Corigliano.
Muhly’s orchestral works have been premiered by the American Symphony Orchestra, the Juilliard Orchestra, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Orchestra (It Remains to Be Seen , a commission celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2006), the Boston Pops (Wish You Were Here, 2007), and the Chicago Symphony (Step Team, 2007). In 2005, the Clare College Choir broadcast Muhly’s evensong canticles live on BBC3, and New York’s Saint Thomas Church commissioned and performed his Bright Mass with Canons, a work that has entered their regular repertoire. With designer-illustrator Maira Kalman, he created a cantata on Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style that premiered in the New York Public Library, landing him on 2005 year’s-best list of New York magazine.
Film credits include his scores for Choking Man (2006) and Joshua (2007), and he has worked extensively with Philip Glass as editor, keyboardist, and conductor for numerous film and stage projects. He recently conducted excerpts from Einstein on the Beach for a new ballet by Benjamin Millepied at the Opéra national de Paris. In October 2007, the American Ballet Theater premiered Muhly and Millepied’s collaboration From Here On Out, a commission for ABT’s 2007–2008 season.
He has also lent his skills as performer, arranger, and conductor to other musicians, including Björk (Medúlla, Drawing Restraint 9, Volta), Bonnie "Prince" Billy (The Letting Go), and Antony of Antony and the Johnsons. His work with Antony has included performances in the Netherlands, the UK, and New York City; in February 2007, they worked together on a new Shakespeare setting titled The Sonnet Project, a program curated by Gavin Bryars for Opera North and the Royal Shakespeare Company. The following year included the release of such collaborations as Ekvílibríum—the highly anticipated solo debut of Icelandic musician Valgeir Sigurðsson—and All Is Well by American folk singer Sam Amidon. Sigurðsson released both discs on his own Bedroom Community records, a label he inaugurated by producing Muhly’s first album, Speaks Volumes (2007). In the months leading up to the US release of Speaks Volumes, Muhly was invited to present concerts of his chamber music at both Carnegie Hall and at the Whitney Museum. Future recording projects include a second solo record titled Mothertongue.