Photo Matthew Murphy
Nico Muhly has composed a wide scope of work for ensembles, soloists and organizations including the American Ballet Theater, American Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Carnegie Hall, Chicago Symphony, percussionist Colin Currie, countertenor Iestyn Davies, pianist Simone Dinnerstein, violinist Hilary Hahn, Gotham Chamber Opera, designer/illustrator Maira Kalman, choreographer Benjamin Millepied, Music-Theatre Group, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Paris Opéra Ballet, soprano Jessica Rivera, The Royal Ballet, Saint Thomas Church in New York City, Seattle Symphony, and artist Conrad Shawcross. Muhly has also lent his skills as performer, arranger and conductor to Antony and the Johnsons, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Doveman, Grizzly Bear, Jónsi of the band Sigur Rós, and Usher.
In 2011, Muhly’s first full-scale opera, Two Boys, was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center Theater and the English National Opera. Two Boys, which—with a libretto by Craig Lucas and direction by Bartlett Sher—chronicles the real-life police investigation of an online relationship and ensuing tragedy, premiered in London in spring 2012. A chamber opera, commissioned by the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Music Theatre Group, and the Gotham Chamber Opera premiered in New York in fall 2012.
Recently, the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Decca released an entire disc of Muhly’s choral music, A Good Understanding. The Aurora Orchestra recorded his Seeing is Believing, and with choreographer Stephen Petronio, Muhly created the evening-length I Drink the Air Before Me , both of which were also released on Decca. Among Muhly’s most frequent collaborators are his colleagues at Bedroom Community, an artist-run label headed by Icelandic musician Valgeir Sigurðsson. Bedroom Community was inaugurated in 2007 with the release of Muhly’s first album, Speaks Volumes. Since then, Muhly has released a second album, Mothertongue, and worked closely with labelmates Sigurðsson, Ben Frost, and Sam Amidon on their respective solo releases. In 2012, Bedroom Community released Muhly’s three-part Drones & Music, in collaboration with pianist Bruce Brubaker, violinist Pekka Kuusisto, and violist Nadia Sirota. Muhly’s film credits include scores for Joshua (2007), Margaret (2009) and Best Picture nominee The Reader (2008); all have been recorded and released commercially.
Born in Vermont in 1981 and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, Muhly graduated from Columbia University with a degree in English Literature. In 2004, he received a Masters in Music from the Juilliard School, where he studied under Christopher Rouse and John Corigliano. From his sophomore year of college, worked for Philip Glass as a MIDI programmer and editor for six years. His writings and full schedule can be found at www.nicomuhly.com.