Composition

FLAMENCO • CLASSICAL • LATIN • JAZZ

My goals as a composer

I compose music inspired by flamenco, classical, Latin-American and jazz music & enjoy composing for solo & duo guitar, string quartets, flamenco ensembles, jazz combos, and large ensembles including SATB choir and contemporary orchestras. It is very exciting to me to be able to write for accomplished musicians both as a commissioned composer and independent composer and hear personalized interpretations of my works performed for the public. 

My education & experience

I earned a Masters degree in flamenco pedagogy, musicology and ethnomusicology ("Flamencología") from the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain) and I graduated from the Fundación Cristina Heeren de Arte Flamenco with highest honors in flamenco guitar performance. Prior to focusing on Flamenco guitar, I studied classical guitar from both Peter Aglinskas (Loyola U. Chicago) and Denis Azabagic (privately) and jazz theory from both David Bloom and John Moulder (Chicago).

I have composed & arranged numerous works, themes and variations since the year 2000 that include the following (among others):

 

• In progress: Suite for cello & guitar (co-collaboration with Kinan Abou-Afach).

• "Esperanza Forjada" written for, and performed with, Illinois Wesleyan University's Collegiate SATB Choir & cellist/composer Kinan Abou-Afach.

 

• "Alamenda (Zapateado)" & "Mi Pulguita (Tanguillo)" for solo/duo guitar and percussion & performed for the Miami International Guitar Festival sponsored by Florida International University & Dr. Mesut Ozgen.

• "Puente de los Suspiros (Alegría)" written for the Fulcrum Point New Music Orchestra (9 piece, contemporary orchestra) + flamenco guitar.

• "Mudanzas" for flamenco guitar, trumpet, bass, percussion, & electric guitar written and performed for the Chicago Flamenco Festival at City Winery Chicago.

• Multiple pieces, musical themes and variations for solo guitar, guitar duo, cello, Arabic o'ud, percussion and Cuban tres for large & small flamenco ensemble productions:

- Love Song (Musical Director): flamenco dance production by Chiara Mangiameli

- Tides: flamenco dance ensemble production by Chiara Mangiameli.

- A Través del Espejo: flamenco dance production by Chiara Mangiameli.

- Quejillos: flamenco dance production by Chiara Mangiameli.

- The Chicago Flamenco Festival.

- Multiple national and international concerts.

• Co-composition, musical themes and variations for the album "Idilio" by Diego Alonso, Kassandra Kocoshis and Chiara Mangiameli.

Get in touch

​Contact me below for more information on commissions & catalogue requests. Please let me know your ensemble type, size, estimated deadlines and any other important information. Thank you!

"I had the distinct pleasure of working with Diego Alonso and Kinan Abou-afach on a commissioned work for the Illinois Wesleyan University Collegiate Choir premiered in April 2021. They each wrote a movement of Two Songs for Hope and Unity and accompanied both movements on guitar and cello. From the first conversation about potential parameters for the composition, it was evident that Diego and Kinan were sincere, humble, consummate professionals. They were flexible and eager to engage with me and the choir throughout the process regarding text and style (compositional and cultural). We had wonderful Zoom meetings, and they provided periodic updates during the compositional process. They were exceptionally patient and understanding regarding the circumstances resulting from the COVID pandemic.

 

The composition is extraordinary. Each composer captured the essence of the respective texts beautifully and each movement is memorable and distinctive in melodic and harmonic structure according to appropriate stylistic criteria. They created a composition whose movements could stand independently, but also flow together seamlessly. The choir and I enjoyed learning and performing this composition very much, and we always had the sense that we could learn more about it as rehearsals progressed. 

 

The in-person rehearsal with the composers was another indication of their sincerity and professionalism. Their love of music and ability to connect with people put the choir and me at ease and allowed us to explore the music as effortlessly as possible in a short time. Their flexibility saved the performance as we experimented with different seating arrangements according to the acoustics of the performing space. 

 

I do not have the words to express my admiration and appreciation for Diego and Kinan’s talent and sense of humanity. It was a great joy to work with colleagues who possess such refined musicianship and personal qualities. I give them my highest recommendation without reservation."

- Dr. J. Scott Ferguson, Director of Choral Activities, Professor of Music, Illinois Wesleyan University School of Music.

Testimonial