About Armando Bayolo
Hailed for his “suggestive aural imagination” (El Nuevo Día), Armando Bayolo holds an international reputation as a composer with “quite a high degree of poetic expressiveness” (Music-Web International) whose works are “full of lush ideas and a kind of fierce grandeur, (unfolding) with subtle, driving power (The Washington Post). His music “combines the audacity of popular music, the verve-filled rhythmic language of Latin America, and the pugnacity of postmodern classicism into a heady, formidable concoction” (Sequenza21).
Born in Saturce, Puerto Rico to Cuban exile parents in May of 1973, Bayolo began his formal musical studies when he began taking piano lessons at the age of twelve. He began writing his first, tentative works two years later and, at sixteen, enrolled at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Bayolo then went on to earn degrees from the Eastman School of Music (where his principal teachers were Samuel Adler, Joseph Schwantner, and Christopher Rouse), Yale University (where he studied with Roberto Sierra, Jacob Druckman, Ingram Marshall and Martin Bresnick), and The University of Michigan (where his advisers were Michael Daugherty, Bright Sheng, and Evan Chambers).
After several brief teaching appointments, Mr. Bayolo settled in the Washington, D.C. area, where he quickly became “a significant figure on the D.C. cultural landscape” (The Washington Post). From 2005-2021 he was the founder and artistic director of Great Noise Ensemble. During the decade-and-a-half of its activity, Great Noise and Bayolo presented hundreds of world, national and regional premieres, led educational initiatives at universities and festivals within and beyond the D.C. Metro region. In 2010, Great Noise became the first professional ensemble in the United States to present Louis Andriessen’s De Materie, and went on to host the composer again in an international festival of his works in 2014. At the same time, Bayolo served as curator for new music at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, a series hailed as a “key destination for anyone interested in new American Music” (The Washington Post).
Mr. Bayolo holds a fierce commitment to the democratization and decolonization of “classical” music through the breaking of traditional, elite boundaries to the enjoyment and practice of the craft. This has led him to contribute to publications like New Music Box and Sequenza21, mentor students at the Charlotte New Music Festival, the Illinois State Youth Music program, and the faculties of Reed College, Hamilton College, the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and, from 2023, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His work has been honored by the Cintas and Fromm foundations, the MacDowell Colony, the Iowa and North Carolina arts councils, the Spoleto Festival de dui mondi, the Aspen Music Festival, and others and can be accessed via Murphy Music Press or the composer’s web site, www.armandobayolo.com
Armando Bayolo lives outside St. Louis, Missouri with his partner, the journalist and educator, Tammy Merrett.