Juan Trigos

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Juan Trigos (born February 26, 1965) is a Mexican-American composer and conductor, with a career of over 25 years.

Juan Trigos
Juan Trigos

(1965-02-26)February 26, 1965
NationalityMexican, American
OccupationComposer and Conductor


Trigos was born in Mexico City, and studied music there at the National Conservatory and the Instituto de Liturgia Música y Arte Cardinal Miranda. He continued his studies in Italy at the Pontificio Istituto di Musica Sacra of Rome, the Conservatorio di Musica G. Verdi (Milan), the Civica Scuola di Musica (Milan), and the Academy Lorenzo Perosi (Biella). Among his most important teachers are Franco Donatoni, Niccolò Castiglioni, Giovanni Bucci and Jesús Villaseñor (composition), Gianpiero Taverna, Franco Gallini, Domenico Bartolucci, and Xavier González Tescucano (conducting), Enzo Stanzani, Margot Fleites and Miguel Agustín López (piano).

Activity as a composer[edit]

Trigos is an active composer, creator of the concept Abstract Folklore, a process in which he abstracts and assimilates various literary and vernacular musical traditions into a modern compositional rhetoric. Some of the principles behind this concept are elements such as primary pulsation, the resonance and the interrelation of polyrhythmic/polyphonic musical events and segments of different density and duration. Is founded on the abstraction and manipulation of original materials or taken from diverse sources. The material is always susceptible to innovation, not only in a pure speculation sense, but also as the assimilation of the musical experience.

As a composer, whose work has been performed worldwide, two fundamental aspects distinguish his musical production: vocal music (opera and sacred) and symphonic music, both with a remarkable predilection for large-scale forms. His more relevant compositions include five symphonies, four operas, three Cantatas Concertantes, Concertos for several instruments and his production for guitar.

Important orchestras, institutions and performers had commissioned him different kinds of works. Among the latest and most significant are:

  • Concerto Grosso composed for the Orquesta de Cámara del INBA (National Chamber Orchestra of Mexico 2016);
  • Symphony n. 4 Nezahualcoyotl Icuicahuan (Chants of Nezahualcoyotl), written with the support of the Fellowship Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte - SNCA (Mexico 2016);
  • Sonata for violin and piano, commissioned by Duo Francois (USA 2015);
  • Sinfonia Breve written for the University of Central Florida (USA 2014), performed also by Orquesta Sinfónica de Sinaloa de las Artes (Mexico) and Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional of Guatemala;
  • Clarinet Concerto with the support of the SNCA (2014), premiered by Camerata de Coahuila (Mexico 2014) and recorded by Orquesta Sinfónica de Heredia (Costa Rica, 2014);
  • Symphony N.3 Ofrenda a los muertos, commissioned and performed by the Houston Symphony (2013), also performed by Orquesta Sinfónica de Guanajuato (2013), Orquesta Sinfónica de Nuevo León (2014) and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (2014);
  • Cantata Concertante N. 3 Phos Hilaron, commissioned by the Diocesan Institute of Music and Liturgy of Reggio Emilia (chamber version 2011) and for the SNCA (orchestral version 2013);
  • Concerto for Four Guitars for the Orchestra Sinfonica Tito Schipa (Italy 2010);
  • Cantata Concertante N. 2, commissioned by the Instituto Cardenal Miranda (Mexico 2010);
  • Guitar Quartet, by Tantalus Quartet (USA 2009).

He has presented and conducted his operas DeCachetitoRaspado (CheekToStubbledCheek) and the trilogy Mis Dos Cabezas Piensan Peor Que Una (My Two Heads Think Worse Than One), in several theatres and international festivals in Croatia, Italy, Mexico, and the USA such as Rialto Theater of Atlanta (USA 2015), Festival Internazionale Spazio Musica of Cagliari (Italy 2007), Palacio de Bellas Arte (Mexico City 2005), Lisinski Hall of Zagreb (Croatia 2005), Festival Internacional Cervantino, Teatro Principal and Teatro Juárez (Guanajuato 2003 and 2005), Foro Internacional de Música Nueva Manuel Enríquez, Teatro de las Artes (Mexico City 2003), 22 Music Biennale of Zagreb, National Theatre (Croatia 2003), Festival Internacional Musica y Escena, Teatro Helénico (Mexico City 1999).

His music has been recorded mainly by iTinerant Classic (Spain), Quindecim Recordings, Spartacus Classics (Mexico), and performed in several cities of the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the USA.

In the musical composition area, he obtained the following awards and fellowships: Howard Hanson Visiting Professor - Eastman School of Music (USA 2017); Fomento a Proyectos y Coinversiones FONCA (Mexico 2015) - Awarded for carry out the performance of his opera DeCachetitoRaspado in Atlanta with the Bent Frequency Ensemble; Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte (Mexico 2001-2006, 2009-2011, 2012–2015); Canadian Music Center - Associate Composer since June 2006; Magazine - Líderes Mexicanos 2002 - Appointed as one of the 300 Mexican leaders; Colegio de Compositores Latinoamericanos de Música de Arte - Composer member (Mexico 2000); International Composition Competition SINFOMNICA 2000 1st prize with his Guitar Concerto n. 1 Ricercare VI (Guadalajara, Mexico); Fomento a Proyectos y Coinversiones FONCA - Awarded for carry out the recording on CD of the Chamber Opera DeCachetitoRaspado (Mexico 2000); International Rodrigo Riera Guitar Composition Competition - Honorable Mention with Ricercare VI (Indiana USA - Caracas Venezuela 1999); Composition Competition Carlos Jiménez Mabarak - 1st prize with Ricercare de Cámara V (Mexico 1996); Crossroads of Traditions (the Second Inter - American Composition Workshop) - Selected to participate as a composer: Bloomington School of Music, Indiana University, Latin American Music Center 1996 (USA); Medalla Mozart and the grant awarded by the Fundación Cultural Domecq and the government of Austria (Mexico 1995), Jóvenes Creadores of Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes - FONCA (Mexico 1995).

At the beginning of his career, he has also ended finalist of several international music competitions such as International Composition Competition Osterfestspiel Salzburg 1994 (Short list), with his Ricercare II; Concorso Internazionale di Composizione Nuove Sincronie 1993 of Milan, Italy (finalist) with Ricercare I; Internacional Gaudeamus Music Week of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Finalist in 1991 with Prologo from Magnificat Guadalupano, and in 1993 with Danza Concertante.

Activity as a conductor[edit]

As a conductor, Trigos has specialized particularly in contemporary music and in music from the 20th century. He has premiered, promoted, and recorded an extensive catalogue of new works with numerous ensembles, choirs and orchestras around the world. As Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Sinfónica de Oaxaca (Mexico), among other successful projects, during 2016 Trigos recorded for the Spanish label iTinerant, four monographic compact discs with works by Mexican composers Carlos Jiménez Mabarak (to celebrate his 100th year of birth), Víctor Rasgado, Jesús Villaseñor and his own.

He was Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Academia Cervantina (2014), ensemble created by the Festival International Cervantino (Mexico) to promote the training of high-level performers specialized in 20th century and contemporary music.

As Principal Conductor of the Eastman BroadBand Ensemble (USA), he participated in many international tours and recorded for Bridge Records (2010) and Urtext (2012) two monographic CDs, respectively with music by Zohn-Muldoon (finalist for 2011 Pulitzer Prize) and Sánchez-Gutiérrez.

Trigos was also Music Director and Principal Conductor of Orquesta Sinfónica de Guanajuato (2012-2014). With this orchestra he recorded a triple CD with music by Mexican composers Gutiérrez-Heras, Lavista, Quintanar, Trigos and Vidaurri (Quindecim 2014), two monographic CDs respectively with music by Carlos Chávez and The Sleeping Beauty by Spanish composer Rubén Someso.

At 35 years old he was appointed as Principal Conductor and Music Director of the Orquesta de Camara de Bellas Artes (National Chamber Orchestra) in Mexico City. At the age of 32 Founder, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Sinfonietta de las Américas with which he recorded for Global Entertainment and BMG Entertainment three CDs with chamber and orchestral music by the German composer Gerhart Muench.

He was Principal Guest Conductor of the ensemble La Camerata de las Américas, dedicated particularly to contemporary music. With this ensemble he recorded several CDs with music by Revueltas, Rasgado and his own. He was also Founder and Principal Conductor of Musica XX Ensemble and Sones Contemporáneos Ensemble in Milan (Italy).

As a guest conductor he has worked with numerous symphony orchestras, ensembles and choirs, in Canada, USA, Europe, and Mexico. Among some of the most important are Orquesta Sinfónica Heredia (Costa Rica), Orquestrae Sinfônica de Sergipe (Brazil), Houston Symphony Orchestra (USA), Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa (Mexico), Orchestra Sinfonica Tito Schipa (Italy), Orquesta Filarmónica de la Universidad Autónoma de México OFUNAM (Mexico), Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra (Croatia), Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México (Mexico), State Symphony Orchestra of Saint Petersburg (Russia), Orquesta del Teatro de la Opera del INBA (National Opera House Orchestra – Mexico), Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (National Symphony Orchestra, Mexico), Cincinnati College Conservatory - Orchestra Concert (USA), I Pomeriggi Musicali (Italy). San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (USA), Bent Frequency Ensemble (USA), ensemble CEPROMUSIC (Mexico), Accidental Music Festival Ensemble (USA), New Music Concerts Ensemble (Canada), Eastman School of Music Ensemble (USA), Icarus Ensemble (Italy), Donatoni Project Ensemble (Canada), Contemporary Vocal Ensemble of Bloomington (USA), Solistas Ensamble del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (Mexico), Academic Choir “Ivan Goran Kovacic” (Croatia), Academic Choir Saint Petersburg-Concert (Russia), and Chorus of the Pontificio Istituto di Musica Sacra di Roma (Italy).


He has participated in several festivals as a composer and conductor, such as Foro Internacional de Música Nueva Manuel Enríquez (Mexico City), Festival Internacional Cervantino (Guanajuato, Mexico), Festival Internacional de Chihuahua (Mexico), Stony Brook University Chamber Music Festival (USA), 2° Biennale Internazionale di Musica Contemporanea Koper (Slovenia), Festival de Música de la CEGAC (Guanajuato, Mexico), Festival Spaziomusica (Cagliari, Italy), Festival Humánitas (Oaxaca, Mexico), 22 Music Biennale Zagreb (Croatia), 39th International Music Festival Pula 2002 (Croatia), XXXV Stagione, Torino e Regione (Italy), Festival “Ponte sul Mincio” (Italy), Festival del Centro Histórico (Mexico City), Festival Arte 01 (Mexico City), XI Foro Internacional de Compositores del Caribe (Jalapa, Mexico), Mexican Contemporary Music Festival (Cincinnati, USA), Festival Callejón del Ruido (Guanajuato, Mexico), Festival Nuove Sincronie (Milano, Italy), Gaudeamus Music Week (Amsterdam, Netherlands).

Teaching activity[edit]

Throughout twenty years of teaching, he organized successful workshops in which he had the opportunity to work with students of different levels of study and cultural backgrounds. In collaboration with Franco Donatoni, he organized an International Composition Course and Festival over four consecutive years (Mexico City 1993-96), attended by a large number of national and international composers, ensembles, and soloists. He was the principal teacher of composition, analysis, and orchestration at the Instituto Cardenal Miranda (Mexico City), and the University of Guanajuato. He also lectured and conducted composition seminars, workshops, master classes, and symposiums at several other institutions in Europe, United States, Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico. Among the most noteworthy are University of Kentucky at Lexington (USA), Georgia State University (USA), Northwestern University—Bienen School of Music (USA), CEPROMUSIC (Mexico City), Centro de las Artes de San Agustín Etla (Oaxaca, Mexico), University of Louisville (USA), Houston Symphony Orchestra - Lectures about Symphony n. 3 Ofrenda a los muertos (USA), Universidad Veracruzana (Mexico), University of Costa Rica, College - Conservatory University of Cincinnati (USA), University of Tampa (USA), Conservatorio F. A. Bonporti of Riva del Garda (Italy), Centro Nacional de las Artes (Mexico City), Eastman School of Music (USA), Rotterdam Conservatory of Music (Netherlands), Conservatoire de Musique de Montreal (Canada), Bloomington School of Music (USA) and San Francisco State University (USA).


He has recorded in USA for Bridge Records (2009) and DarkPress. In Italy for Stradivarius, in Spain for iTinerant and in Mexico for Quindecim, FECA of Veracruz, "Colegio de Compositores Latinoamericanos de Música de Arte" and UAM, BMG Entertainment, Urtext Classics, Global Entertainment, Euram and Spartacus Classics.

As a composer[edit]

  • Mexico City Blues. Sonata for violin and piano. Duo Francois. iTinerant 2017
  • La Noche de los Mayas by Revueltas and Guitar Concerto n. 2 Hispano Raúl Zambrano, guitar; Tempus Fugit Orchestra; Christian Gohmer. Conductor. Quindecim Recordings (Mexico, 2014)
  • De repente. Partita, for solo guitar. Dieter Hennings, guitar. Naranjo (USA, 2010)
  • Una Musica Plurale. Bagatella per Bartok, for ensemble. Icarus Ensemble; Marco Pedrazzini, conductor. Stradivarius STR (Italy, 2004)
  • Sonatas, Danzas y Homenajes. Homenaje a Manuel M. Ponce, for solo guitar. Alejandro Mora, guitar. Fondo Estatal Para la Cultura y las Artes de Veracruz (Mexico, 2003)
  • Colegio de Compositores Latinoamericanos de Música de Arte. Ricercare de Cámara II, for large ensemble. Neal Woolworth, trumpet; Gustavo Rosales, trombone; Miguel González, percussion; Duane Cochran, piano; Camerata de las Américas; Odaline de la Martinez, conductor. Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana UAM (Mexico, 2000)
  • Canciones de Luna Vol. I. Canción de Cuna, from opera DeCachetitoRaspado. Encarnación Vázquez, mezzo; Alberto Cruzprieto, piano. Euram Records (México, 1999)

As a composer and conductor[edit]

  • Juan Trigos - Mexican Composer Series (Monographic CD). Symphony n 4 Nezahualcoyotl Icuicahuan & Sansón, Ballet Suite. World premier recording. Daniela DÌngiullo, soprano; Oaxaca Symphony; Juan Trigos, conductor. iTinerant (2016)
  • TRIGOS (Monographic CD). Clarinet Concerto, Martín Scalona, clarinet; Orquesta Sinfónica de Heredia; Juan Trigos, conductor. Concerto for Four Guitars, Dieter Hennings, Gonzalo Salazar, Leopoldo Saracino, Emanuele Segre, guitars; Orchestra Sinfonica Tito Schipa; Juan Trigos, conductor. Danza Concertante (Piccolo Concerto), Jos Zwaanenburg, piccolo; Netherlands Radio Synfonie Orkest; Nicolas Cleobury, conductor. iTinerant (2015)
  • Abstracto. Clarinet Concerto, Martín Scalona, clarinet; Orquesta Sinfónica de Heredia; Juan Trigos, conductor.
  • Gutiérrez-Heras, Lavista, Quintanar, Trigos, Vidaurri (3 CD’s, Mexican Composers). Juan Trigos, Cantata Concertante n. 3 Phos Hilarón (0rchestral version). Daniela D’Ingiullo, soprano; Grace Echaury, mezzo; Cuauhtémoc Trejo, flute; Chorus of Conservatorio de Celaya; Rubén Barrera, conductor; Guanajuato Symphony Orchestra; Juan Trigos, conductor. Quindecim Recordings (2014)
  • DeCachetitoRaspado. Hemofiction Opera (orchestral version) in two acts (excerpts). Claudia Montiel, soprano; Gabriela Thierry, mezzo; José Guadalupe Reyes, tenor; Benito Navarro, baritone; Actors: Bertha Vega, Itzia Zerón, Guillermo Jair, and Lorenzo Mijares; Icarus Ensemble; Academic Choir Saint Petersburg-Concert; State Symphony Orchestra of Saint-Petersburg; Juan Trigos, conductor. iTinerant (2017)
  • DeCachetitoRaspado. “Hemofiction Opera” (chamber version-original). Singers: Claudia Montiel, soprano; Adriana Díaz de León, mezzo; Mario Hoyos, tenor; Benito Navarro, baritone; Camerata de las Américas. Juan Trigos, conductor. Quindecim Recordings (Mexico, 2002)
  • Tañendo Recio. Pablo Gómez, guitar; Ricercare de Cámara VI. Camerata de las Américas; Juan Trigos, conductor. Quindecim Recordings (Mexico, 2001)
  • Sones Contemporáneos. Juan Trigos: Comentarios I & II, Danza Florida n. 1, Quartetto da Do & Sax sin aliento. Ensamble Sones Contemporáneos; Juan Trigos, conductor. 1rst edition VR-JT-01 (Italy, 1990). 2nd edition Spartacus. Clásicos Mexicanos Serie Contemporánea 21013 (Mexico, 1995)

As a conductor[edit]

  • Carlos Jiménez Mabarak - Mexican Composer Series (Monographic CD). Misa de Seis (Opera in one act) & Balada de los Quetzales (Ballet). Soloists: Amelia Sierra, mezzo; Gabriela Flores, mezzo; Scherezada Cruz. Soprano; Benito Navarro, baritone; Jesús Palato, tenor. Actrices: Katia Elnecave, Isis Orozco. Oaxaca Symphony. iTinerant (2016). World premier recording
  • Víctor Rasgado - Mexican Composer Series (Monographic CD). Quetzaltepec, Piano & Tuba Concertos. World premier recording. Jacques Drouin, piano; Faustino Díaz, tuba; Oaxaca Symphony. iTinerant (2016). World premier recording
  • Jesús Villaseñor - Mexican Composer Series (Monographic CD). Symphonies 1 & 11. World premier recording. Oaxaca Symphony. iTinerant (2016). World premier recording
  • Nueva Música para Banda de Vientos (Vol. III). Works by Daniel Martínez, Miguel Ángel Fraustro, Roberto Clemente, Liliana Zamora, Ángel Gómez, Nelson Jesús. Banda del Estado de Oaxaca (2014)
  • Nueva Música para Banda de Vientos (Vol. II). Works by Daniel Martínez, Miguel Ángel Fraustro, Roberto Clemente, Liliana Zamora, Ángel Gómez, Nelson Jesús. Banda del Estado de Oaxaca (2011)
  • Carlos Chávez (Monographic CD). Piano Concerto & Symphony n. 3. Silvana Santinelli, piano; Guanajuato Symphony Orchestra. iTinerant (next spring 2018)
  • Rubén Someso (Monographic CD). La Bella Durmiente. Laura Fernández Meraz, narrator; Guanajuato Symphony Orchestra. iTinerant (next spring 2018)
  • Gutiérrez-Heras, Lavista, Quintanar, Trigos, Vidaurri (3 CD’s, Mexican Composers). Gutiérrez-Heras, Divertimento (piano & orchestra), Sinfonía Breve; Quintanar, Piano Concerto; Lavista, Ficciones & Canto Fúnebre; Vidaurri, Música para una imagen venerada & Seis canciones místicas. Rebeca Samaniego, mezzo; Laura Carrasco, organ; Ana Cervantes & Mauricio Nader, piano; Guanajuato Symphony Orchestra. Quindecim Recordings (Mexico 2014). World premier recording (except for Divertimento)
  • Carlos Sánchez-Gutiérrez (Monographic CD). Diaries. …Ex Machina (piano, marimba & large ensemble), Diaries (piano & ensemble), Five Memos (ensemble), Son del Corazón (ensemble). Makoto Nakura, marimba, Daniel Pesca & Cristina Valdes, piano. Eastman BroadBand Ensemble. URTEXT (2013). World premier recording (except for Son del Corazón)
  • Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon (Monographic CD). Cantos. Comala (scenic cantata), El Niño Polilla (chamber opera), Flores del Viento (voice & ensemble) Tony Arnold, soprano; Scott Perkins, tenor; Alex Hurd, baritone. Eastman BroadBand Ensemble. Bridge Records (USA, 2010). World premier recording
  • Víctor Rasgado. El Conejo y el Coyote (Chamber Opera). Lourdes Ambrís, soprano; Benito Navarro, baritone; José Guadalupe Reyes, tenor; Ari Brickman, narrator; Camerata de las Américas. Quindecim Recordings (2003). World premier recording
  • Gerhart Muench (2 Monographic CD’s). Sortilegios. Chamber and Orchestral Music. Rodolfo Ponce Montero, piano; Sinfonietta de las Américas. BMG Entertainment (2000). World premier recording
  • Gerhart Muench. Oposiciones (piano & orchestra), Violin Concerto, Muerte sin fin (orchestra). Alberto Cruzprieto, piano; Carlos Egry, violin; Sinfonietta de las Américas. Orchestral Music. Sinfonietta de las Américas. Global Entertainment (1999). World premier recording
  • Silvestre Revueltas, Música de Excepción. Commemorative Centenary Edition,1899 -1999. Camerata de las Américas. BMG Entertainment CDC 743218228728 (Mexico, 2000)
  • Marcela Rodríguez. Funesta. Urtext Digital Classics (1998)
  • Víctor Rasgado. Sones Contemporáneos. Víctor Rasgado: Axolote (ensemble), Rumores de la Tierra (ensemble) & Rayo Nocturnal (ensemble). Ensamble Sones Contemporáneos. 1rst edition VR-JT-01 (Italy, 1990). 2nd edition Spartacus. Clásicos Mexicanos Serie Contemporánea 21013 (Mexico, 1995)


  • Music Publisher PromoMusica International Ed.
  • Millan, Eduardo Soto, Diccionario de compositores Mexicanos de Música de Concierto, tomo II, Mexico, Sociedad de autores y Compositores de México/Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1998, pp. 301–302, ISBN 968-16-4900-1
  • Consuelo Carredano, Juan Trigos. Chronology, works's catalog and documentary references, «Pauta, cuadernos de teoria y crítica musical», June–September 2003, nn. 87-88, pgg. 133-156.