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Kampela Arthur

Composer and virtuoso guitar player currently living in Berlin as a DAAD Artist-in-Residence (Berliner Künstlerprogramm 2012–13). Winner of the 1995 International Guitar Composition Competition in Caracas and the 1998 Lamarque-Pons Guitar Composition Competition in Montevideo. He is internationally recognized both as composer and virtuoso guitar player. He has received commissions and awards from the New York Philharmonic (2009), Koussevitzky Foundation (2007), Fromm Music Foundation (1998), ISCM/World Music Days in Stuttgart 2006, Rio-Arte Foundation, Brazil (1999) and fellowships from the Brazilian Government (CNPq) and Columbia University (1990–98), among many others.

Kampela has broken new ground in two particular ways: first, in his native country he has fused popular and vernacular styles with contemporary textural techniques. His 1988 CD Epopeia e Graça uses popular music forms deconstructing samba, jazz, musical theatre, with new music resources creating a true hybrid genre. Second, working with new extended techniques for acoustic instruments. In his series of Percussion Studies for solo guitar (1989–present), Kampela has created an entirely new playing technique which he extended to many acoustic instruments. He has been playing with his new music band in New York and abroad (Mexico, Europe and South America).

His recent compositional projects include a retrospective of chamber works at the Ultraschall Festival in Berlin (2013), ...B... for 10 instrumental soloists, video and electronics premiered on at the Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt in 2012, performed by the Linea Ensemble of Strasbourg (a Koussevitzky Foundation commission), the premiere of MACUNAÍMA by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Magnus Lindberg (2009), premiere of Motets for two guitars at the Saint-Maurice cathedral in Reims by the Newman and Oltman Guitar Duo (2011), Not I for horn solo, horn player’s voice and lights, premiered in 2011 in Freiburg by Delphine Gauthier-Guiche, Uma faca só lâmina, string quartet premiered in 2010 at the Americas Society in New York by the Momenta String Quartet. His works have been performed in South America, Europe, Asia and the USA.

He holds a PhD in music composition from the Columbia University. He has also received private lessons from Brian Ferneyhough. Arthur Kampela has been writing on his theoretical ideas on micro-metric modulation and on extended techniques such as in his 1998 doctoral dissertation Micro-Metric Modulation: New Directions in the Theory of Complex Rhythms. More recently, he contributed with the article Micro-Metric Rhythms and Noises Emanations from the Stochastic Cloud to a new book on Xenakis published in 2012 by Pendragon Press, Graziela Bortz wrote her recent doctoral dissertation at the City University of New York (Rhythm in the Music of Brian Ferneyhough, Michael Finissy and Arthur Kampela: A Guide for Performers, 2003) based on Kampela’s theory of micro-metric modulation, analysing the rhythmic strata of her thesis’ subjects. Arthur Kampela is currently working on a new commission for a large chamber work with solo guitarist from the Collegium Novum Zurich to be premiered in November 2013 in Switzerland.


Selected works (since 2000): Trombhorninghouse, musical theatre for horn and trombone (2000–01), Percussion Study IV for viola alla chitarra (2003), Naked Singularity for tuba (2003– 04), Antropofagia for electric guitar and large chamber orchestra (2001–04), Copacabana (Avant-Bossa Nova) for voice, viola, alto saxophone, cello, bass guitar, piano and percussion (2003–05), Exoskeleton III for three violas alla chitarra and cello (2004), Garôta 21 (Avant-Bossa Nova) for voice, viola, alto saxophone, cello, guitar bass, piano and percussion (2005), Percussion Study V for viola alla chitarra and tape (2006-07), Des(a)fiandonado (Avant-Bossa Nova) for voice, viola, alto saxophone, cello, bass guitar, piano and percussion (2006), Elastics II for flutes and guitar (2007), Macunaíma for orchestra (2009), Motets for two guitars (2010–11), Not I for horn solo, horn player’s voice and light (2011), ...B... for ten instruments, video and electronics (2012), A Máquina do Mundo for contrabass clarinet (2012), As if for clarinet, guitar and accordion (2013).