The music of Vincent Calianno (b. 1979, Buffalo, NY) is inspired by the renegade eloquence and radical temperament of the American vernacular.  His works often combine a unique confluence of disparate musical colors, muscular rhythms and complex, virtuosic textures. Calianno's diverse musical corpus includes opera, musicals, large and small ensemble works, electro-acoustica and music for film.

Calianno’s chamber music has been presented across the globe by the International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble Mise-En, the Nouveau Classical Project, Ensemble 39, Alarm Will Sound, the JACK Quartet, Tactus, Ossia, Artifact and The New York Miniaturist Ensemble.  His orchestral music has been performed by the NYU Symphony, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra.

In 2016, Calianno looks forward to new works for the International Contemporary Ensemble (Notes on the Deliverance Machine) scored for cello trio and electronics, and a new work for ensemble and video for Ensemble Mise-En (How I Fell In Love with W)—an encomium on George W. Bush. Recent projects include Sororatorio—a setting of the rather infamous 2013 ‘deranged sorority girl’ email, and The Facts and Dreams of the World According to Michael Jackson (the 2016 winner of the ASCAP Rudolf Nissim Prize)—a series of musical proverbs from an imagined Michael Jackson.

In addition to concert music, Calianno is an active composer for short and feature length films and multimedia projects.  His interest in silent cinema has led him to compose scores for both classic and recent silent films. His score for Carl Dreyer’s 1927 film La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc for viola and electronics has been performed live with the film throughout the U.S. and Canada including a portrait concert in 2009 at Le Poisson Rouge in New York.

Calianno holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the Eastman School of Music, and New York University. His principal teachers have included John Luther Adams, Lewis Nielson, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Zack Browning, Mark Suozzo and Livingston Gearhart.

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I believe that my music should find an aesthetic that balances my conservatory upbringings with my American ‘maverick’ sensibilities;

I believe in creating art that is at once rich with musical metaphor and allusion but also accesses fresh and truly current trends in the visual and all other aural arts;

In creating art that is vernacular, polystylistic, self-referential and ironic which can be accessible to the listener and performer without feeling that the music is plastic or an iconic bastard;

In creating art that has a luminous, attractive and comprehensible surface but also has a stable, rich and compositional core;

I believe in actually creating new music, not lumping together an array of extended techniques and passé effects and calling it new music;

I believe in creating art that experiments and investigates with acumen and with naïveté; in creating art that, above all things, aspires to transcend and illuminate – art where the spirit works with the hand, not against it;

In creating music that is free from the elitist, inaccessible, self-absorbed and self-righteous attitude of certain sects of American new music composers and their parasites, whose crabby, cliché-ridden, irrelevant and solipsistic music touches no hearts and inspires no souls.

Describe your music

Notes on the Deliverance Machine (2016)
for cello trio and electronics, 8 mins.
Commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble

How I Fell In Love with W (2016)
for 6 players and video, 15 mins.
Commissioned by ensemble mise-en

I’m a Hater/I’m a Belieber (2015)
for bass clarinet, violin and video, 8 mins.

kodokushi (2015)
for piano solo and electronics, 9 mins.

Sororatorio (2015)
for soprano and pierrot ensemble, 20 mins
Commissioned by the Nouveau Classical Project

The Facts and Dreams of the World According to Michael Jackson (2014)
for orchestra, 12 mins.
Commissioned by the NYU Symphony

When I Dream, Some Letters Fall Out Of My Mouth To Make A Word (2013)
for string trio and electronics, 11 mins.
Commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble

eyeliner ashtray (2013)
for violin solo, 5 mins.
Commissioned by Erik Carlson

Bone Chinoiserie and the Alabastard Cowboy (2012)
for oboe, clarinet, violin, viola and contrabass, 10 mins.
Commissioned by Ensemble 39

les étoiles secrètes (2011)
for vibraphone and pianoforte, 10 mins.
Commissioned by Andy Miller and the Presser Foundation

against COLORADO (2011)
for orchestra, 14 mins.
Commissioned by the Illinois Symphony Orchestra

String Quartet (2010)
for string quartet, 22 mins.
Commissioned by Artifact

eating filumena lionheart (2010)
a concerto for oboe and chamber ensemble, 20 mins.
Commissioned by the University of Illinois New Music Ensemble