A native New Yorker, composer Antonio Carlos DeFeo (b.1973) has already had his work commissioned by several outstanding performers in the world, including Paul Lustig Dunkel, Charles Bressler, and Renée Fleming. His compositions - ranging from works employing large orchestras to song cycles written simply for voice and piano - have won him several awards and accolades. Trained first at Berklee College of Music and then at Manhattan School of Music, his compositions have been performed at many prestigious institutions around the world, including Tanglewood Music Center, Salzburg Music Festival, Philadelphia Cathedral, Central City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Westchester Performing Arts Center, and Dreikönigskirche Festival.
A contemporary composer with a fresh and distinct voice, DeFeo's aesthetic persuasions lead him to write primarily for orchestra and for voice. When hearing any of his concert work, including his art songs, the listener gets a sense that this composer hears orchestral textures as he writes. DeFeo is particularly fond of intertwining live acoustic instruments with prerecorded voices and electronic or acoustic sounds - a technique DeFeo likes to call audio collage.
DeFeo has implemented audio collage in his orchestral, chamber, and vocal works in which a soundtrack on compact disc is played simultaneously with live performers. The result is otherworldly; the audience experiencing kaleidoscopic textures and ambience - often sounds that can be produced in no other way.
This young composer has a great affinity for setting words to music. His song cycle Three Simple Songs, based on texts from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese, has won him much acclaim, including a 'Song of Excellence' award at The Diana Barnhardt American Song Competition. The last song in the cycle, Sonnet XXIII, as recorded by The American Celebration Duo and released by Innova Records, was hailed as "[a] beautiful song [that] rates among the best ones heard in years" by the American Record Guide. His song cycle, Songs of Separation, based on texts by Lord Byron, George Meredith, and Michael Drayton, was a finalist in the 2004 NATS Song Cycle Competition.
In 1999, DeFeo's one minute orchestral paean for Westchester County, entitled Millennium Fanfare, garnered him the Westchester Millennium Prize and was featured on television commercials throughout the year 2000.
He has won awards and recognition for his work from the Jerome Foundation, Turner Classic Movies, The Westchester Millennium Commission, The John Lennon Songwriting Competition, The American Composers Forum, The Diana Barnhardt American Artsong Competition, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.