Dr. Nick Virzi (b. 1991) is a composer from New York City living in Woodside, 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, guitarist, conductor, and teacher. He also hosts the international composer interview series Composer OverTime.

Nick’s music has been performed both throughout the USA and internationally by 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.

Nick has participated in several international festivals, such as Impuls (Austria) and Gaudeamus Muziekweek (The Netherlands), and has received fellowships from the Cortona Sessions for New Music (Italy), the soundSCAPE Composition and Performance Exchange (Italy), the New Music for Strings Festival (Denmark), and the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival (NYC). He has also presented his work at universities such as UC San Diego and UC Berkeley, as well as the California Interdisciplinary Consortium for Italian Studies at the Italy’s Centers and Peripheries 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 bioacoustics and soundscape ecology at NYU’s Steinhardt School at the Precarious Sounds/Sounding Sanctuary Conference, in 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 in Guimarães, Portugal.  

Dr. Virzi completed his D.M.A. in Music Composition at Stanford University, where he studied with Mark Applebaum and Brian Ferneyhough. He also received his B.M. from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Du Yun, Huang Ruo, and Suzanne Farrin. He is currently a Lecturer at Stanford University where he offers an original course, Wild Sound Explorers: Digital Storytelling, an interdisciplinary workshop which explores the intersection between music and sound art, technology, and the natural sciences.

Nicholas_Virzi_–_Headshot_(Watts).jpg

© 2020 by Nick Virzi

Photo: Andrew Watts