BIO

Albert Carbonell Sauri is a contemporary-classical composer, “A leader of his generation....” (El Mundo). "The Homilies of Organya by Albert Carbonell will become a reference for future generations, undoubtedly, one of the greatest events of the musical season in Barcelona this year." (Luis Polanco, El Periodico). "Zodiac is a masterful composition. With this admirable work, with its specific formal gravity, imaginative choral writing, and the agility to establish dynamic contrasts. Carbonell’s piece ended the concert with deep affection" (F. Taverna-Bech, the Catalan Music Magazine). "New sounds, melodies, harmonies, and timbres relaunch two homilies based on a text from the 13th century. This is a piece of eclectic music, written with imagination and exceptional professionalism" (El Periodico). "His music is descriptive and playful" (Jordi Bordes, El Punt).
Award-winning Catalan composer Albert Carbonell Sauri has established himself as one of the most accomplished, imaginative, and fascinating composers of his generation. Mr. Carbonell is an influential and critically acclaimed composer and has been praised for creating music that breaks traditional artistic and cultural boundaries. He has received commissions from the most prestigious performers, ensembles, and festivals in the world, and his pieces have been performed at some of the most important venues and halls thorough the globe.
In 2020 he was invited to the "Caramoor Festival of Music" to serve as a coaching resident composer of the "Vocal Rising Stars" with Steven Blier, Michael Barrett (former president of the Festival), Elaine Daiber soprano, Siena Licht Miller mezzosoprano, Terrence Chin-Loy tenor, and Thomas West baritone. He also collaborated with the "New York Festival of Song" preparing the singers for their concert at the Kaufmann Music Center - Merkin Hall in Manhattan. That same year he took part at the 2020 Spitfire Westworld Scoring Competition as a member of the jury teaming up with HBO’s science fiction series scoring a scene from Westworld Season 3 joining an elite panel of judges comprising the show’s composer, Ramin Djawadi, as well as the creators: Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy, Executive Producer J.J. Abrams.
In 2019 the prestigious BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts programmed Mr. Carbonell's cantata "Rambla Llibertat" with the Belgium National Orchestra as part of the "Singing Brussels Celebration" project praised as "a breathtaking experience" by the critics. In 2017 his piece "Sketches" was chosen among 110 works for the final round at the prestigious third "Krzysztof Penderecki International Composers' Competition" in Radom (Poland) being maestro Penderecki present at the final concert as the head of the Jury. In 2014 he wrote the music for the project Cantania at the Auditori having that year alone more than 120 sold-out concerts with the participation of 50,000 choir singers (around 500 singers onstage per concert). The concerts were held throughout Catalonia, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Germany.
In 2012 he wrote the incidental music for the Off-Broadway production of Teresa’s Ecstasy -a show written by playwright Begoña Plaza- premiered at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City. The play was directed by Will Pomerantz and the cast included playwright Begoña Plaza as well as Shawn Elliott and Linda Larkin (the voice of Princess Jasmine on Walt Disney’s blockbuster movie “Aladdin”) where he met the legendary composer Alan Menken.
In 2009 he cowrote and arranged the music for the concert at the Carnegie Hall of Hafez Nazeri "The Rumi Symphony Project" preparing the music score for the Grammy Awards of that year. In 2004 the Catalan Government sponsored the premiere of his celebrated work the “Homilies d’Organyà”, commissioned by the group Percussion de Barcelona and premiered at the Palau de la Musica Catalana. While in the USA Mr. Carbonell has worked as a composer, arranger, conductor, and educator for the Unity Gallega of the US (aka Casa Galicia) for more than ten years. Casa Galicia is a cultural organization representing people from Galicia (Spain) in promoting and preserving their cultural ties. Casa Galicia is the owner of the iconic New York City Concert venue Webster Hall. BSE Global and The Bowery Presents (and Bowery's parent company AEG) acquired the operating rights in February 2017, and after a nearly two-years renovation with a budget of $10 million investment, the venue re-opened to the public on April 26, 2019, with a concert hosted by Jay-Z. Mr. Carbonell has also recently collaborated with various American composers and arrangers like Grammy Award-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre, whose work is programmed worldwide.
He is internationally known for his ground-breaking Virtual Choirs that have united singers from more than 145 countries. He has been the composer in residence for the IFCP (the International Festival for Contemporary Performance of New York), being Elliott Carter and Pierre Boulez at the board. That position required his participation in concert series, lectures, symposiums, and master-classes taking place in New York City, where he shared his particular vision of the music creation world with prestigious American composers like Mario Davidovsky, Philip Glass, Ned Rorem, Charles Wuorinen, Fred Lerdahl or Lee Hyla, and collaborating closely with renown classical and contemporary performers as Marc Ponthus, Rolf Schulte, Curtis Macomber, Bruce Brubaker, Charles Rosen or the group Speculum Musicae. During his career, he has collaborated with many prestigious composers like John Corigliano (Faculty member at the Juilliard School of Music), Bruce Adolphe (Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center), Philip Glass, Mario Davidowski (professor emeritus at Harvard University). He has collaborated with Spanish composer Ricardo Llorca preparing the materials for the production of the New York Opera Society of “The Empty Hours” premiered at the Alice Tully Hall of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City in November 2010. A Guggenheim fellow and member of The Juilliard School faculty, a composer-in-residence with The New York Opera Society, a company that specializes in new opera productions and commissions. His music has been featured at The Academy (a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and The Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education). Violinist Joanna Kaczorowska is the violinist who premiered Mr. Carbonell's Verbum at the Festival for Contemporary Performance in New York. Performing also at the Carnegie Hall with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. Other recent engagements include appearances with Itzhak Perlman at the Music @ Menlo and Aspen Music festivals, a tour to Rome with Mr. Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony, and chamber music concerts throughout Europe and the US with members of the Emerson String Quartet.
He has also received commissions by the FIMUC (the International Music Festival of the Serrania of Cuenca for its 1st edition (2005) and its 5th edition (2010); from the Choir and Orchestra of the Community of Madrid (2007) for which he wrote Zodiac, a collection of 12 short pieces that received critical acclaim; and from the Aurora Borealis Duo (2007) with el “Divan del Tamarit”. He is also the author of two staged operas Lysistrata (2006) and The moon in a pannier (1998/2006). Besides dedicating all his energy to the art of composition, he still finds time to develop a conductor, educator, and promoter career. He is the creator and the manager of the "International Music Festival", a non-profit organization based in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) devoted to organize and manage music events worldwide and to bring together and build the largest music community network online to establish connections between musicians all over the globe, enabling and increasing the mutual understanding between countries through cultural exchange programs. He is the musical director and cultural advisor for the Catalan Institute of America, organizing the musical programs and recommending performers for their concert series. And finally, he acts as the Musical Director of the Ibero- American Music Festival of New York (IAMF), a cultural organization devoted to the production of musical events and the diffusion and promotion of Ibero-American music, meaning music and musicians from Spain, Portugal, Canaries Islands, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. New York is the seat of this organization that intends to be a channel to promote composers, singers, performers, styles, and different facets of the Ibero-American musical culture, most of whom are not massively known in the United States. A standout in his generation, a phenomenal musician, uniquely prepared for an ascendant career as a pioneering composer both the musical and creative force of his work and its technical artistry.
He masterfully employs the established compositional techniques of the past and present, while seamlessly breaking into new territory. His catalog includes works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, choral music, and solo pieces. His music is characterized by the use of timbre effects, traditional extended harmony, and the influence of the new notation and extended techniques. Mr. Carbonell is a very rare talent, a masterful composer whose wide palette of structural technique spans the use of sound color, instrumental and timbral manipulation, formalistic elegance, and idiomatic writing. His prowess lies not only in a remarkable fount of natural creativity from which he draws inspiration but also in exceptional craftsmanship. His work manages to take great risks but has the power to profoundly touch the listener upon first hearing, which lends the music a timeless quality. The architecture of his works is constructed at the highest level of artistry as he skillfully manipulates the roles of the instruments for which he writes- His profound intimacy with the register and timbral possibilities of each instrument allow him to venture as far as his rich imagination leads. His utterly distinctive and visionary voice is indispensable. He contributes ground-breaking new work of the highest level and vital artistic collaboration, thereby greatly enriching the contemporary music world.
Mr. Carbonell is a member of ASCAP (USA), the SGAE, and AIE (Spain).

Awards & Grants


- Finalist at the III Krzysztof Penderecki International Composers' Competition (2017) in Radom, Poland, with the work Sketches (for strings)- 1st. Prize at XXIV Premi Musical de Composició per a cobla Ceret-Banyoles. (2007) with Concertone (new version for cobla)- 1st Prize project "Opera a secundària" by the "Gran Teatre del Liceu" (City Opera Hall in Barcelona) opera Lisístrata (2005)- 1st Prize Bohuslav Martinu Award, with the piece Chance "Atzar" (2004)- Honorary Prize at the "Murray Schafer" Composition Competition. Poland (1999) with The sepherd's boy- Prize as the best Catalan Composer at the 11th "Francesc Civil" Prize in Composition. (2001) with The magic square- 1st. Prize at the "III Concurs Internacional de Composició" de Música de Càmara de Montserrat (València). (2001) with Seqüencies- 1st. Prize "5th Composition Competition for Christmas Carols" Fundacion Caja de Granada. (1999) with Benid a Belen- 1st Prize Sardanes SGAE (1999) with Cant d'enyorança- 1st. Prize "Premi Ramon Serrat per a compositors de sardanes". Terrassa. (1999) with the sardana Eixerida- Premio de Honor Grado Superior de Composición (1998)- Premio de Honor Grado Superior de Instrumentación (1998)- Special Youth Award at the XIVth Premi Musical de Composició per a cobla Ceret-Banyoles. (1998) Nyeros i Cadells- 1st Prize at the Chamber Composition Competition "Joaquim Maideu". Category A. Vic (1998) with El petit bestiari- 1st Prize at the Chamber Composition Competition "Joaquim Maideu". Category B. Vic (1998) with Variations- Grant by "Fundació Caixa Sabadell" (1996-97)- 1st. Prize of the "Agrupació Sardanista de Taradell". (1996) with the sardana Aplec daurat- 1st Prize Sardanes SGAE (1995) with the sardana Bellsolar- Special Award at the VIIIth Premi Musical de Composició per a cobla Ceret-Banyoles. (1992) La ciutat llunyana- Special Award at the VIth Premi Musical de Composició per a cobla Ceret-Banyoles. (1990) with El silenci del bosc

Scholarships & Certificates


- Fulbright Fellowship (2002-04)- Mannes College of Music Merit Scholarship. (2002-04)- "Fundació Agustí Pedro i Pons" (Universitat de Barcelona). Scholarship (2001)- "Fundación Autor/SGAE" (Spanish Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers) Scholarship (2000)- "Fundacón Autor/SGAE" (Spanish Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers) Scholarship (1998)- "Artistas Interpretes y Ejecutantes" (Beca AIE). Scholarship (1994-95/96-97)- "Fundació Caixa Catalunya". Scholarship to assist to the Summer Festival in Torruella de Montgrí (Girona) 1992.- Master of Music by the "Mannes College of Music" (the "New School University") (2004)- Superior Professor of "Conducting" (2001)- Superior Professor of "Harmony, Counterpoint, Composition and Instrumentation" (1998)- Superior Professor of "Solfege, Music Theory, Transposition and Accompaniment" (1997)- Superior Professor of "Percussion" (1996)- Superior Professor of "Music Pedagogy" (1996)