Nilo Alcala

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Nilo Alcala
Nilo Alcala.jpg
Background information
Birth name Nilo Belarmino Alcala II
Origin Lucena City, Philippines
Genres classical
Occupation(s) composer, arranger, singer, conductor
Instruments voice, piano
Associated acts Los Angeles Master Chorale
Philippine Madrigal Singers
Metro Manila Concert Orchestra

Nilo Alcala is a Filipino composer, arranger, and vocalist. He is the first Philippine-born composer to be commissioned by the Grammy-nominated Los Angeles Master Chorale, and also to receive the Aaron Copland House Residency Award.


Alcala has received a number of recognitions, including the 2009 POLYPHONOS Young Composer Award[1] given by the Seattle-based vocal ensemble, The Esoterics. He also received a Young Composer Award from the Asian Composers League,[2] in cooperation with the Israel Composers' League in 2004. He won Best Movie Theme Song[3] and was also nominated for Best Film Score at the 34th Metro Manila Film Festival for his music in the movie "Homecoming" by renowned Filipino director Gil Portes. For the same movie, Alcala also received nominations from the Golden Screen Awards of the Entertainment Press Society and the Star Awards for Movies of the Philippine Movie Press Club.

Alcala is the first ever Filipino to be commissioned by the Los Angeles Master Chorale. His work Mangá Pakalagián[4] was premiered at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on November 15, 2016.

As an arranger, his work in the Sony BMG released Album Acclamation of the renowned Philippine Madrigal Singers was nominated for Best Vocal Arrangement at the 20th Awit Awards organized by the Philippine Association of the Record Industry or PARI.

Alcala was member/soloist and resident composer/arranger of the two-time European Choral Grand Prix winner and UNESCO Artist for Peace Philippine Madrigal Singers. The group has premiered Alcala's compositions in prestigious international festivals and competitions, including the Florilege Vocal de Tours in France, and the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing in Arezzo, Italy.[5]

Alcala graduated BS Development Communication from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (BSDC 1999) prior to his admission in 2001 to the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Music. Upon graduating Bachelor of Music in Composition Magna cum laude in 2007, Alcala received the Gawad Chanselor Natatanging Mag-aara[6] l (Chancellor's Outstanding Student Award), an award conferred by University of the Philippines to students with outstanding academic and non-academic achievements. Alcala became full scholar under the Billy Joel Fellowship [7] at Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts in upstate New York where he finished Masters in Music Composition and received the Irene Crooker Excellence in Music Award in 2009.

Alcala's teachers include Prof. Josefino Chino Toledo, Dr. Jonas Baes, Dr. Christine Muyco, Dr. Ramon P. Santos, Dr. Nicolas Scherzinger, Dr. Gregory Mertl, Dr. Daniel S. Godfrey. He also had master classes with Judith Weir.





Composer/arranger residencies[edit]



Honor societies[edit]

Selected works[edit]


  • Pater Noster (treble choir) 2003
  • Dayo Dayo Kupita (mixed choir) 2005
  • Song of Dawn (mixed choir) 2006
  • Kaisa-isa Niyan (mixed choir) 2006
  • La Noche De Mil Noches (mixed choir) 2007
  • Silly Syllables (children’s choir, 2 violins, piano) 2008
  • Bagbagto (mixed choir, also in treble and male choir version, with optional wood percussion) 2009
  • Papanok A Lakitan (mixed choir, optional wood percussion) 2009
  • Song of the Night (mixed choir) 2009


  • Then Finish The Last Song (soprano, piano) 2008
  • Tell Me If All This Be True (soprano, piano) 2009
  • A Day Like This (tenor, piano) 2009
  • The Sick Rose (soprano, piano) 2009
  • A Burning (tenor, mezzo-soprano, piano) 2009
  • Tell Me If All This Be True (soprano, piano) 2009


  • Diary of a Synaesthete (orchestra) 2005
  • Speak To Me My Love/You Are The Evening Cloud (soprano, tenor, orchestra) 2007

Chamber/solo instrumental[edit]

  • Freudian Id (string quartet) 2003
  • chuck d’ cheeky chat (instrumental chamber ensemble) 2004
  • Dancing Delusions (instrumental chamber ensemble) 2005
  • Stream of Consciousness (instrumental chamber ensemble) 2008
  • The Tyranny of Distractions (cello) 2009

Musical theater[edit]

  • Miracles of Jesus (children’s choir, soloists, rock band) 2007


  • Motion picture soundtrack for “Homecoming” (directed by Gil Portes) 2003
  • Animation soundtrack for “Flower Trail” 2004


  1. ^ "2009 Winners - The Esoterics". The Esoterics. Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  2. ^ Taiwan. "Awards". Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  3. ^ "The Philippine Star | Entertainment | 234351 |". Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  4. ^ "2015 | 2016 Performances | Made in L.A. | Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 7 pm | Los Angeles Master Chorale | Walt Disney Concert Hall". Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  5. ^ "A Cappella News: Madrigal Singers win European Grand Prix for the second time". Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  6. ^ "aproct07 UPdate". Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  7. ^ "Billy Joel replies to my invite!". nilo alcala - composer. Retrieved 2016-03-05. 
  8. ^ "Playing a silver tune | Starweek Magazine, Other STAR Sections, The Philippine Star |". Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
  9. ^ "MMCO, CCP, NCCA team up for new orchestra works". Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
  10. ^ "New music, Flamenco". Retrieved 2016-03-09. 

External links[edit]