Filipino-American composer Nilo Alcala wins coveted American Prize music competition

Nilo Alcala American Prize Music
Nilo Alcala’s works have been performed across the globe in international festivals, choral competitions, and choral symposiums.. Credits to Nilo Alcala.

Filipino-American composer Nilo Alcala has won the coveted 2018-19 American Prize in Composition for Major Choral Works in the Professional Division.

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts cited Nilo Alcala’s Manga Pakalagian (Ceremonies), performed by the Grammy-nominated Los Angeles Master Chorale for its “Made in LA” concert at the Disney Concert Hall in 2015.

Manga Pakalagian is described as “a multi movement suite for choir and kulintang ensemble that takes inspiration from the Maguindanao people of Southern Philippines and how they use traditional music to punctuate or celebrate events in the community, thus elevating these events into a ceremony.”

In announcing the award in July, The American Prize noted that Nilo Alcala’s works have been performed across the globe in international festivals, choral competitions, and choral symposiums.

Alcala also holds the distinction of being a recipient of the COPLAND HOUSE Residency Award – the first Philippine-born composer to receive such honor.

Some of Nilo Alcala’s awards include:

  • Asian Composers League Young Composer Award (Israel), the very first Ani ng Dangal (Harvest of Honor) from the Philippine President
  • IGNITE Commissioning Competition of C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective (New York, NY)
  • Musical America Worldwide’s Artist of the Month
  • POLYPHONOS Young Composer Award from The Esoterics (Seattle, WA)

The University of the Philippines Magna cum laude graduate has also been commissioned by various orchestras and festivals such as the Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival, Metro Manila Concert Orchestra, Manila Symphony Orchestra, San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra, Korean Ministry of Culture, Asia-Europe Foundation, among many others.

Alcala was a composer-in-residence of the Philippine Madrigal Singers which premiered his works in international competitions. The group also released a CD and digital album of Alcala’s choral works entitled ONOMATOPOEIA: The Choral Works of Nilo Alcala.

Nilo Alcala’s work, Tuntun Balagon/Firefly, will be performed by the UPLB Choral Ensemble at the 1st Asia Choral Grand Prix.

In May 2020, Nilo Alcala will again perform his winning piece with the LA Master Chorale 2019/20 Concert Season.

LISTEN to Nilo Alcala and LA Master Chorale’s winning performance here and
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