Spanish composer born in 1988 in Bilbao, Spain.
An accordionist by training, Mikel Urquiza studied composition with Gabriel Erkoreka and Ramon Lazkano at Musikene, the Higher School of Music of the Basque Country in San Sebastian, Spain, then at the Paris Conservatory with Gérard Pesson. He took part in the Académie Voix Nouvelles of Royaumont (2014) and continued his musical research while in residence at the Villa Medici (2019-20). His interest in the interaction between music and memory guided him towards a SACRe doctorate (Sciences, Arts, Creation, Research), and the preparation of a thesis under the direction of Francesca Alberti, Stefano Gervasoni and Martin Kaltenecker.
A composer enamoured with lightheartedness, invention, fantasy and humour, Urquiza has fun with clichés, flirts with the comic and composes aerial works of which every intention is efficaciously conceived towards an aural finality. Having practised choral singing in his childhood, Urquiza remains very attached to the voice. He pays particular attention to the text and sings his music before transcribing it. The titles of his works reflect his polyglottism and the varied inspiration he has drawn from literature and the visual arts. His catalogue deals with all groupings, from solo instrument to orchestra. His works include White nights for soprano and string quartet, first performed by Sarah Sun and the Diotima Quartet at Voix Nouvelles in the Abbaye de Royaumont (2014); Contrapluma for piano, first performed by Mariam Batsashvili in Cologne, Germany (2016); Opus vermiculatum for instrumental ensemble, first performed by the ensemble Mosaik conducted by Enno Poppe in Madrid (2017); Elurretan for mandolin, guitar and harp, first performed by the Ensemble C Barré (2017); I nalt be clode on the frolt for soprano and instrumental ensemble, premiered by Marion Tassou and L’Instant Donné on the France Musique programme Création mondiale (2018); Mis monstruos marinos for orchestra, first performed by the Euskadiko Orkestra conducted by Ruth Reinhardt in San Sebastian, Spain (2019); Songs of spam for vocal and instrumental ensemble, first performed by the Neue Vocalsoloistin and the Ensemble C Barré in Stuttgart (2019); Oiseaux gazouillants et hibou qui se retourne for instrumental ensemble, first performed by the Ensemble Intercontemporain conducted by Matthias Pintscher in Paris (2020); Peristylium for instrumental ensemble, first performed by the ensemble Sonido Extremo conducted by Jordi Francés in Madrid (2021).