Spanish composer born 24 September 1988 in Bilbao.
A trained accordionist, Mikel Urquiza studied composition at Musikene in San Sebastian with Gabriel Erkoreka and Ramon Lazkano, and later in Strasbourg with Mark Andre, whose influence is manifest in the work Erio (2011) for orchestra. In 2012, he began further study at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP) with Gérard Pesson. In 2014, he participated in the Voix Nouvelles Academy at Royaumont. In 2019, he received a grant from the Peter Eötvös Foundation and was a resident at the Villa Medici.
At the age of 21, Mikel Urquiza was awarded the Francisco Escudero International Composition Prize, and two years later, received the highest level of acknowledgment for a young composer by the INAEM. In 2014, he wrote his first opera, Maudits les innocents, the first act of a lyrical tale based on a text by Laurent Gaudé, produced by the Paris National Opera.
He has worked with ensembles such as Instant Donné, Ascolta, Mosaik, Ensemble Intercontemporain and C Barré, with the latter commissioning More sweetly forgot (2017), Elurretan (2017), and Songs of Spam (2019). Meitar Ensemble performed his Cinq pièges brefs (2013) in Tel Aviv. His string quartets Indicio (2016) and Ondar (2012) were the result of close collaborations with the Diotima Quartet.
His works have been performed in festivals such as Quincena Musical (San Sebastian), MATA, Musikprotokoll, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, ECLAT, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik and the Lucerne Festival. His piano work Contrapluma (2016) has been widely performed through ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation), and was proposed as a work for finalists in the Ferruccio Busoni and Orleans International Competitions.
As a former member of the Kantika Korala children’s choir, Mikel Urquiza frequently composes for voice, as in I nalt be clode on the frolt (2018), the result of a collaboration with soprano Marion Tassou; Songs of Spam (2019), premiered by Neue Vocalsolisten; and White nights (2014) and Alfabet (2019), both of which were premiered by soprano Sarah Maria Sun. Urquiza’s works for voice are characterised by an idiomatic use of text which the composer feels is apt to express his distinct sense of humour. For example, in Songs of Spam, he explores issues of manipulation and control through the use of material derived from spam and phishing emails. His work I nalt be clode on the frolt, a setting of texts taken from newspaper announcements, further demonstrates his interest for the mundane, in this case, in the spirit of Helmut Lachenmann’s GOT LOST (2007-2008), whose initial inspiration was a terse posting complaining of the disappearance of a washing basket. Urquiza’s work Alfabet for soprano, trumpet, bass clarinet and percussion—which associates the Fibonacci series with letters of the alphabet—was performed at ManiFeste in 2020.
© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2020
Site du compositeur, Musikagileak, Ensemble C Barré.
- Solo (excluding voice)
- Jeu de dames educational piece for piano (2013), 60 s, Lemoine
- elec Belarretan for guitar and electronics (2014), 6 mn, Suvini Zerboni
- Ouverture Française for accordion (2014), 3 mn
- Contrapluma for piano (2016), 6 mn, Suvini Zerboni
- Un lugar de Nueva Inglaterra en el que nunca he estado for microtonal accordion (2017), 4 mn
- Atelier d'Escher for piano (2020), 10 mn
- Jupiter Muscarius for violin (2021), 8 mn
- Blond vénitien for cello (2022), 10 mn
- Des pas sur ta peau for accordion (2022), 10 mn
- La pluie dans un verre d'eau for flute (2022), 10 mn
- Chamber music
- Ondar for string quartet (2012), 13 mn
- Zintzil for ensemble (2012), 8 mn
- Cinq pièges brefs for trio with piano (2013), 8 mn
- Cálculo de la caída for violin and viola (2015), 6 mn
- Isiltzen denak for ensemble (2015), 5 mn
- Les lueurs se sont multipliées for septet (2015), 12 mn [program note]
- Manual de vuelo del aeronauta inexperto for wind quintet (2015), 6 mn
- Indicio string quartet n°1 (2016), 18 mn
- Serpientes y escaleras (serenata) for ensemble (2016), 10 mn
- Elurretan for plucked string trio (2017), 9 mn
- Opus vermiculatum for nonet (2017), 12 mn
- Cinco sólidos perfectos y una mariposa for quintet with piano (2018), 15 mn
- Opus latericium for quartet (2018), 14 mn
- Pièges de neige for clarinet, cello and piano (2018), 15 mn
- Sex doll deluxe for ensemble (2018), 10 mn
- Ars memoriae for quintet (2019), 10 mn
- Atelier de Giacometti for flute and piano (2019), 7 mn
- Ex voto for saxophone, percussion and piano (2019), 20 mn
- Respirare l'ombra for three percussionists (2019), 8 mn
- Index string quartet nº2 (2021), 18 mn
- Peristylium for small ensemble (2021), 5 mn
- Passage à l'acte for cello and piano (2022), 10 mn
- Instrumental ensemble music
- Erio for symphony orchestra (2011), 9 mn
- Ikusia ikusirik for symphony orchestra (2016), 6 mn 30 s
- Las Olas for string orchestra (2017), 10 mn
- Monte Altissimo for string ensemble (2018), 10 mn
- Mis monstruos marinos for symphony orchestra (2019), 10 mn
- Lavorare stanca for 12 musicians (2020), 12 mn, édition du compositeur [program note]
- Oiseaux gazouillants et hibou qui se retourne for ensemble (2020), 10 mn
- Cancionero sin palacio for ensemble (2021), 11 mn
- Ships vanishing in the horizon for ensemble (2021), 15 mn
- Concertant music
- Pentimenti percussion concerto (2020), 10 mn
- Vocal music and instrument(s)
- stage Maudits les Innocents (I. The first one rises), lyrical tale (2014), 20 mn
- White nights for soprano and string quartet (2014), 12 mn
- Sobre lo apenas entrevisto for mezzo-soprano, guitar, accordion and percussion (2015), 13 mn
- More sweetly forgot for soprano, saxophone, accordion and percussion (2017), 12 mn
- I nalt be clode on the frolt for soprano and ensemble (2018), 10 mn
- Alfabet for soprano, trumpet, bass clarinet and percussion (2019), 15 mn, édition du compositeur [program note]
- Songs of Spam for voice and ensemble (2019), 15 mn
- Chiisama Tsubame for Noh voice and cello (2021), 15 mn
- A cappella vocal music
- Alfabet for soprano, trumpet, bass clarinet and percussion, 15 mn, édition du compositeur [program note]
- Ars memoriae for quintet, 10 mn
- Atelier de Giacometti for flute and piano, 7 mn
- Ex voto for saxophone, percussion and piano, 20 mn
- Mis monstruos marinos for symphony orchestra, 10 mn
- Respirare l'ombra for three percussionists, 8 mn
- Songs of Spam for voice and ensemble, 15 mn
- Elurretan for plucked string trio, 9 mn
- Las Olas for string orchestra, 10 mn
- More sweetly forgot for soprano, saxophone, accordion and percussion, 12 mn
- Opus vermiculatum for nonet, 12 mn
- Un lugar de Nueva Inglaterra en el que nunca he estado for microtonal accordion, 4 mn
- Erio for symphony orchestra, 9 mn
- Site du compositeur : www.mikelurquiza.eu
- I nalt be clode on the frolt dans Création mondialeAnne Montaron sur France Musique le 19 mai 2018.
(liens vérifiés en février 2021).
- Mikel URQUIZA, « Espiègle », Ensemble C Barré, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, 1 CD Empreinte Digitale, 2023, ED13263.
- Mikel URQUIZA, « Cherche Titre », Marion Tassou, L’Instant Donné, 1 CD Odradek, 2022, ODRCD434.
- Mikel URQUIZA, Assur, dans « Hauspoiz: Accordion Contemporary », 1 CD IBS Classical, 2017, IBS172017.
- Mikel URQUIZA, Bellareten, Bertrand Chavarría-Aldrete : guitare, dans « Carpere Fide(s) », 1 CD Odradek Records, 2016, ODRCD346.