William Ortiz Alvarado
Composer / Educator / Musician
William Ortiz-Alvarado was born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City. A member of that fascinating hybrid culture known as “Newyorican”, Ortiz composes music that often reflects the realities of urban life.
After studying composition with Héctor Campos Parsi at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, he received his M.A. from SUNY at Stony Brook where his teachers were Billy Jim Layton and Bulent Arel. He later was granted the Ph.D. in Composition from SUNY at Buffalo, where he studied with Lejaren Hiller and Morton Feldman. Ortiz is currently Full-Professor of Music and Humanities at the University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón, where he is also director of the University Concert Band. He also teaches at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico and is Music Director of the Ateneo Puertorriqueño.
Among his numerous awards, grants and commissions includes the 2001 Latin Grammy Nomination for the Baja California Orchestra’s CD “Tango mata danzón mata tango”, which includes his Guitar Concerto “Tropicalización”; Composer-in-Residence (“Music in Motion”)
Atlantic Center for the Arts (1996-97); American Music Center Copying Grant (1985, 2007); Festival Casals Commission (1995); Felipe Gutiérrez Espinosa International Composition Award (1980).
The doctoral thesis: “The Percussion Music of Puerto Rican Composer William Ortiz” by Ricardo A. Coelho De Souza has been published and could be acquired thru Amazon.Com
He makes the following statement on his music: “I conceive of music as the ‘violent beauty’ of urban life; as the expressions of the cries and shouts of the street – cries and shouts that reflect the thoughts of those who are oppressed, of those who feel. It is my intent to convert the language of the street into a legitimate instrument”.