Francisco Castillo Trigueros

Photo: Ximena Del Valle

Photo: Ximena Del Valle

Francisco Castillo Trigueros (b. 1983) is a composer of contemporary chamber, orchestral and electronic music from Mexico City residing in Chicago. He has received numerous distinctions such as the Jury 1st prize at the NEM Young Composers International Forum, the BMI Student Composer Award, honorable mentions in the 2010 and 2011 Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, and several nominations for the Gaudeamus Music Week Prize in The Netherlands. 

Castillo Trigueros has worked extensively with intercultural ensembles. His intercultural work draws from his multi-cultural raising in Mexico, and deals with issues of identity, diversity, and hybridity. It presents diversity while creating unity. In his work Prisma, for oboe, 6 East Asian instruments, and strings, the distinctive eastern and western sound worlds are blended together to create a unified fluid timbre. 

Francisco has also composed numerous pieces for traditional music ensembles and orchestras, often including the use of electronics. His pieces are often inspired by visual art. His work Nealika, which he wrote in 2009-10 for eighth blackbird, is inspired by the fluid symmetry and colorful patterns found in Huichol visual art. His work Emblema | Blau for flute, string quartet, and percussion, is structured using one of the most emblematic figures in Mexican culture: the pyramid.  

Francisco's recent collaboration with biochemist Josiah Zayner on The Chromochord, an instrument that allows the sonification of nano-sized light-responsive proteins found in plants, has been featured in several publications including Scientific American.    

Orchestras, ensembles and performers that have performed his music include the Holland Symfonia, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Chicago Composers Orchestra, eighth blackbird, ensemble dal niente, Atlas Ensemble, Nieuw Ensemble, Asko Ensemble, Pacifica String Quartet, Spektral String Quartet, Fonema Consort, Jason Alder, Brian Conelly, Ryan Muncy, and Shanna Gutierrez. 

His mentors and teachers include Augusta Read Thomas, Shulamit Ran, Kotoka Susuki, Howard Sandroff at the University of Chicago; Theo Loevendie, Richard Ayres, Fabio Nieder at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam; Shih-Hui Chen, Kurt Stallman, Pierre Jalbert at Rice University; and Haruko Shimizu and Jose Tavarez in Mexico City. 

Castillo Trigueros recently obtained a Ph.D at the University of Chicago, where he served as Computer Music Studio Manager for three years, and is currently teaching composition and digital music at Columbia College Chicago and theory and composition at the New Music School.