I work primarily in the field of contemporary art music as a composer, improviser, conductor and educator. My creative work looks for new forms of sonic narrative, articulating formal simplicity in brutal contrast with highly detailed textures.
I completed a PhD in 2014 guided by Liza Lim, obtaining the ‘Vice-Chancellor’s Award for an outstanding Research Degree Thesis’ at University of Huddersfield, UK, where I also took editorial responsibility of issue 4 of the CeReNeM Journal. Previous degrees include MPhil from University of London, MA and Licentiate from Universidad de Chile, both awarded with ‘maximum distinction’. Beside formal studies, in 2006 a Chilean Arts Council scholarship allowed me to study composition privately with James Dillon in London.
After years of nomadism, including residencies in Vienna and Mexico, I’m currently based in Whadjuk country –Perth, Western Australia–, where I work as a freelance composer, adjunct lecturer at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, chief-editor of the journal Directions of New Music, and conductor of Ensemble Soundstorm.
Festivals my music has been played in so far
Impuls 2011 (Austria)
ISCM World Music Days 2012 (Belgium)
Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik 2013 (Germany)
Connect Festival 2013 (Sweden)
ME_MMIX 2013 (Spain)
ANODE 2014 (USA)
Festival Contrasti 2014 (Italy)
Festival Mixtur 2015 (Spain) – Commission 2015.
Festival Musicahora 2015 (Chile)
Sound of Stockholm 2015 (Sweden)
Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2013, 2014 & 2015 (UK) – Commission 2014.
Festival de Música Contemporánea UC 2004, 2005, 2006, 2013 & 2016 (Chile)
Sampler Sèries 2014 & 2016 (Spain)
BIFEM 2016 (Australia)
Artists who have performed my music so far
Argonaut String Quartet (Australia)
Consort Guitarrístico de Chile (Chile)
Ensemble Crossinglines (Spain)
Distractfold Ensemble (UK)
ELISION Ensemble (Australia)
FUKIO Saxophone Quartet (Spain)
Ensemble Hand Werk (Germany)
Ensemble Interface (Germany)
Spectra Ensemble (Belgium)
Ensemble Soundstorm (Australia)
Strains Ensemble (USA)
Ensemble SurPlus (Germany)
Trace Ensemble (UK)
Diego Castro Magas (Chile)
Luis Codera Puzo (Spain)
Noriko Kawai (Japan)
Mark Knoop (Australia/UK)
Marco Longo (Italy)
Mark Takeshi McGregor (Canada)
Klaasje Nieuwhof (Netherlands)
Jonas Olsson (Sweden)
Filip Rathé (Belgium)
Heather Roche (Canada/Germany)
José Luis Urquieta (Chile)
Jeffery Kyle Hutchins (USA)
Scott Voyles (USA/Germany)
“Alvarez’s treatment of the material is akin to sculpting, with shifts in perspective that offer new insights into the composition’s elusive core.”
– Eduardo Cossio, RealTime #136, Dec-Jan 2017.
“On stage its longeurs are forgotten, and its subtle shifts in rhythm and texture are well-judged to maintain a sense of inquisitive experiment.”
– Tim Rutherford-Johnson, The Rambler, 18 Feb 2013.
“Pedro Alvarez’s Instead (2013) comes close for creating something distinctly different from a typical solo clarinet work – odd blocks that nod towards minimalism and Zorn, if anything, although that isn’t giving much away.”
– Tim Rutherford-Johnson, The Rambler, 30 Sep 2016.
“Challenging to the point of wilful oddity.” (Whatever that may mean)
– Simon Cummings, 5against4, Nov 2014.
“One can imagine ejected fragments, fragments of a dissolved music, now captured by the ensemble.” (Original in Swedish)
– Roland Horovitz, Nutida Musik, 23 Dec 2015.
“Inherent Nodes evolves within a relative temporality (…) which gives a sense of slightly fluctuating tempo, of a certain elasticity, besides the multiplicity in its different layers. In our opinion, the highlight in this work is its asserting not indeterminate music, but rather a different and refreshed form of determinacy.” (Original in Spanish)
– Mauricio Gómez Gálvez, Resonancias, No.39, Jul-Nov 2016.
“Then two enormous instruments enter the scene, these are baritone saxophones, to perform “Untitled on canvas” by Pedro Alvarez. The two sounds, very velvety in the middle register, combine marvellously to highlight an intertwined, subtle and charming counterpoint. One would think, by the ear, of two turbulent lion cubs devoting themselves to their feline games.” (Original in French)
– Nikola Lutz, concerts-paris-jlp, June 2013.