Village Music Walk, June 21. 10th Anniversary Festival, September 20-22.
Described as “mold-breaking” and “vital” by The New York Times, Andy Akiho is an eclectic composer and performer whose interests run from steel pan to traditional classical music. Akiho came to composition through the steel pan (an instrument which originated in Trinidad) and has since gone on to study composition at Manhattan School of Music, Yale School of Music and Princeton University where he is currently a doctoral fellow.
Recent highlights include winning the Finale Eighth Blackbird Composers Competition in December 2011, a commission from the New York Philharmonic for a premiere on its December 2012 Contact! series concert, and the release of his debut CD "No One the Know One" on the Innova label in the spring of 2011. Akiho also frequently performs his own music on the steel pan as he will on May 8, 2012 on the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella concert at Disney Hall.
Akiho’s unique style and inspiration stems largely from a moment early on in his career when he was exploring and challenging the boundaries and traditions of the steel pan. After completing his bachelor degree in percussion, he made four extensive performance visits to Trinidad where he participated in the world’s premier steel pan event, Panorama, with the Starlift Steel Orchestra and the Phase II Pan Groove Orchestra. Around the same time Akiho also won Second Prize in the 2002 World Steelband Music Festival solo competition, where he premiered his first original steel pan composition, Macqueripe. Since 2003, he has performed and taught steel pan extensively in New York City and has successfully taught his arrangements to groups including Joubala, Jambalasi, and the Sesame Flyers International Steel Orchestra. As an educator, he served as a lead teaching artist for ArtsConnection, New York’s most comprehensive arts-in-education non-profit organization. Akiho plans to continue his career as a performer while placing a strong emphasis on his chamber and orchestral compositions.
As the winner of the Carlsbad Music Festival's Composers Competition, Andy Akiho wins a $3,000 co-commission from the Festival and ArtPower! at UC San Diego to write a major new piece for the Calder Quartet. It will be premiered at the 2012 Festival on September 23 and performed again at The Loft at UCSD as part of ArtPower!’s 2012-2013 season. Andy was selected by a panel consisting of the four members of the Calder Quartet and Festival Director Matt McBane.
Check out Andy performing one of his own compositions for steel pan and cello with Mariel Roberts, and visit andyakiho.com for more!