Dr. Nick Virzi (b. 1991) is a composer from New York City living in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. His recent work explores the mystical nature of music through imagistic representation, orchestration of complex numerical systems, and use of original natural sound recordings. In addition to composing, Nick is a field recording artist and researcher in acoustic ecology, as well as an electric guitarist, conductor, and educator.
Nick’s music has been performed throughout the USA and internationally by established artists such as cellist Séverine Ballon (France), soprano Tony Arnold, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, the JACK Quartet, the Spektral Quartet, Splinter Reeds, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Ensemble Liminar (Mexico), Distractfold (United Kingdom), the Ekmeles Vocal Ensemble, the TAK Ensemble, and Ensemble Dal Niente. His work has been featured at such venues as the Juilliard School at Lincoln Center, the Center for New Music in San Francisco, and the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, Denmark. His recent commissions include a new work for Line Upon Line Percussion from the Novalis Music and Art Festival, along with artist residencies at the Kopački Rit Nature Preserve in Osijek, Croatia.
He has participated in such international festivals as Gaudeamus Muziekweek (The Netherlands), Impuls (Austria), New Music on the Bayou (Louisiana), and Festival Ecos Urbanos (Mexico), including fellowships granted by the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival (New York City), the Cortona Sessions for New Music (Italy), the soundSCAPE Composition and Performance Exchange (Italy), and the New Music for Strings Festival (Denmark). He has presented his work at the Conrad Prebys Music Center at UC San Diego, the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) at UC Berkeley, the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara, as well as the American Beethoven Society at San José State University, the California Interdisciplinary Consortium of Italian Studies (CICIS) at the Italy’s Centers and Peripheries Conference hosted by Stanford University, and the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) at the SEAMUS 2021 Virtual National Conference.
As a field recording artist specializing in natural sound, Nick has held artist and research residencies at wilderness locations throughout California, such as the Sagehen Creek Field Station in Sagehen Experimental Forest, the Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve in Big Sur, and the Poto Festival in Grass Valley. He has presented his research in acoustic ecology at NYU’s Steinhardt School as part of the Precarious Sounds/Sounding Sanctuary Conference (New York City), The Catholic University of America at the Eleventh International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses (Washington, D.C.), and the Centro Cultural Vila Flor at the Ninth International Conference on the Constructed Environment (Guimarães, Portugal).
Dr. Virzi is currently an H&S Dean’s Fellow at Stanford University and a Lecturer in the Department of Music. His research is based at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) and Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. He completed his D.M.A. in Music Composition at Stanford University, where he studied with Mark Applebaum and Brian Ferneyhough. He also completed his B.M. at the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Du Yun, Huang Ruo, Laura Kaminsky, and Suzanne Farrin.