Student Profile

Alex Van Gils
Ph.D. in Music Composition and Theory, UC Davis

Alex Van Gils (b. 1987) is a composer and bassist whose music is influenced by his love of classical music and jazz, and especially by his practice and study of Tibetan Buddhism under Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. 

He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he studied composition with Professors Allen Anderson and Stephen Anderson. He has attended master classes with composers such as Michael Gandolfi, Pat Metheny, Terence Blanchard, and Joseph Butch Rovan. In the summer of 2010 he traveled to the Czech Republic to take part in the International Music Academy Pilsen, where he studied composition and orchestration with composers Jiří Bezděk and Bright Sheng. His piano solo Something Electric was the 2011 winner of the Emil and Ruth Beyer Composition Award, presented by the National Federation of Music Clubs. His orchestra work cosmic dancer, blade of fire was awarded the UC Davis Symphony Composition Award in 2013. Van Gils studied composition at the University of California, Davis, with Ross Bauer. More information, discography, and samples of his music can be found at alexvangils.com.

Recent Accomplisments

2016 Dresher Ensemble Resident Artist (the DEAR program) as the ensemble composer for Oakland-based political theatre collective The Bonfire Makers, creating a production of Place to Land: An Oakland Love Story.

Commissioned by the Friction String Quartet to compose “A Sleeptalker Describes the Rising of the Seas,” which will be premiered at the Center for New Music in SF on September 30.

Commissioned by the Awesöme Orchestra Collective to arrange Carletta Sue Kay’s “Some Famous Landmarks” for rock band and orchestra for Intersection for the Arts’ 50th Anniversary Concert at Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco.

 

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