Manuel Sosa > Composition
Manuel Sosa was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and began his early musical studies on the Cuatro (venezuelan string instrument), which were eventually complemented by violin and solfège studies at the José Ángel Lamas National Conservatory.
After deciding to pursue music instead of architecture, he moved to the United States, initially settling in Philadelphia, where he studied music theory and composition with Joseph Castaldo, at the University of the Arts. In 1988, he transferred to the Juilliard School, in New York City, where he studied composition with Stephen Albert, Robert Beaser, and David Diamond, receiving his BM, MM, and DMA degrees from this institution. He has also sudied composition with Jacob Druckman, Earl Kim, and Bruce Saylor; harmony with Mary Anthony Cox; Afro-Caribbean percussion with Jerry González; counterpoint, analysis, and conducting with Jacques-Louis Monod.
His music has been written for and and has been performed by extraordinary ensembles including the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, the New Juilliard Ensemble, the American Composers Orchestra Chamber Ensemble, Continuum, the Yokohama Brass Ensemble, the Fribourg Contemporary Ensemble, the Guild of Composers, and North/South Consonance, among others. He has been commissioned by the Melton Foundation, the New York Choreographic Institute, North/South Consonance, and the Minnesota Orchestra, for which he is currently writing a concerto for flute and orchestra. His music is recorded on the Quindecim label (Mexico).
Prizes and awards range from Meet the Composer/Van Lier fellowship to several residencies at Yaddo (including the White Flowers fellowship for composers), as well as a Civitella Ranieri Foundation fellowship, and several ASCAP awards. He has presented scholarly papers, on art and music in Latin America, in conferences in Austria (Mitersill), England (York), Germany (Darmstadt), and Venezuela (Caracas), some of which have been published in journals such as Kunst-Musik and the Darmstädter Diskurse (Germany).
He is chair of the performing arts committee of the Venezuelan-American Endowment for the Arts, and has also been treasurer and executive secretary of the Guild of Composers, Inc., as well as a music editor for the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music. He is chair of the ear-training department, and a member of the composition faculty of the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School.