WILLIAM BRITTELLE is a Brooklyn-based composer of pop-influenced electro-acoustic art music. His primary musical mentors include Mike Longo, longtime pianist/arranger for Dizzy Gillespie, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici, and punk guitarist Richard Lloyd of Television. Brittelle’s work is characterized by the melding of complex thematic ideas, rhythms, and formal structure with the visceral power and surface appeal of pop/rock music, a duality perhaps best represented by his most recent album Loving the Chambered Nautilus. Written specifically for the players of ACME (the American Contemporary Music Ensemble), Nautilus is a series of electro-acoustic chamber music pieces melding classic synthesizer sounds and drum programming with virtuosic and textured classical composition. The album has been hailed as a hallmark of the next wave of classical composition. Following an All Things Considered feature, Nautilus hit #1 on Amazon’s Chamber Music Chart. The New York Times labeled the work “bright and joyous”, and MUSO dubbed it “a fast, fun, freedom-fuelled flurry of a record”. Perhaps most powerfully, Classical TV stated: “William Brittelle is creating a body of work that has no precedent, and marks him as a one of the most promising heirs of the vital American maverick tradition.”
Previous to Nautilus, Brittelle released Television Landscape, his fully-composed, post-apocalyptic art rock concept album scored for orchestra, rock band, synths, and children’s choir. Dubbed “irresistible” by The New York Times and “a glorious reclamation of lush sounds crusty critics have vilified for years” by Time Out NY, Television Landscape drew substantial praise from both rock and classical critics, leading the Los Angeles Times to muse, “You might wonder if Jane’s Addiction had discovered the soul of Debussy.” eMusic called the album “expansive, anthemic, all-encompassing, shot through with raw emotion” and named it to its ”Albums of the Year” list. The album’s centerpiece, the nostalgia-soaked soft rock balladSheena Easton, was singled out by Pop Matters for its “complex orchestrations” and “mind-bending arrangements” and taste-maker rock blog My Old Kentucky called the track “one of the more interesting tunes I’ve heard in a while.” The Believer magazine chose the album’s closing track The Color of Rain for inclusion in its prestigious annual music issue. The Awl,Alarm Press (“Album of the Week”), NJ Star Ledger, Classical TV, The Big City, and the All Music Guide are among the other publications that levied praised on the album. Prior toTelevision Landscape‘s release, Brittelle received a 2006 emerging composer grant from the American Composers Forum with funds provided by the Jerome Foundation for the creation of Mohair Time Warp, a full-length art-music concept album featuring live musicians and lip-synched vocals. The collage-based, hyper-stylistic album was named “CD of the Week” by WNYC’s Soundcheck and dubbed “completely electrifying” by Time Out NY upon its release by New Amsterdam Records in 2008.
Brittelle’s music has been the subject of features in The New York Times (Sunday Arts & Leisure), the Los Angeles Times, Time Out NY, and NPR’s All Things Considered. His compositions have been presented across the U.S., including performances in Seattle’s Icebreaker Festival curated by Alex Ross and Kyle Gann, the Festival Internacional in Chihuahua, Mexico, Pittsburgh’s Music on the Edge series, New Music New College in Sarasota, Florida, the String Theory Festival in Minneapolis/St. Paul, the Switchboard Festival in San Francisco, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, le Poisson Rouge, Galapagos Art Space, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, The Stone, and the Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Hall. Recent commissions include Obituary Birthday (A requiem for Kurt Cobain)for the Seattle Symphony, Computer Wave for pianist Michael Mizrahi, and a series of pieces for Roomful of Teeth, premiered at Mass MoCA. Upcoming projects include a commission from the Indianapolis Symphony and arrangements for the electronic artist Oneohtrix Point Never.
Brittelle has been the recipient of grants and awards from the American Music Center, American Composers Forum, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and ASCAP. Along with composers Judd Greenstein and Sarah Kirkland Snider, he co-directs New Amsterdam Records and New Amsterdam Presents, a vital Brooklyn-based record label and presenting organization. He is a passionate promoter, presenter, and producer of new and adventurous music in New York City, having overseen the release of more than 30 critically acclaimed recordings. Brittelle also co-produced and presented more than 50 live music events throughout the U.S. in the last four years.