Billy Bivona

COMPOSITIONS


Receiving a Special Award from the Connecticut Critics Circle for my original score and performance for "Constellations" at TheaterWorks Hartford in 2018.

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The most rewarding part of art is to be a participant in creating it, and that passion has been a central part of my musical journey since the very beginning.
I did not study composition formally until my second year at the Hartt School when I switched majors from French Horn Performance to Composition with a Concentration in Horn. Since then, I have been fortunate to have experienced expression through a variety of mediums and disciplines, including electronic/multimedia, writing for theater, choir, organ, chamber ensembles, solo instruments, jazz combos, fugal writing, and orchestrations and transcriptions for large orchestra. The guidance of my brilliant and thoughtful teachers Larry Allen Smith, Tawnie Olson, and Ken Steen, has shaped me as an artist and person, and has brought me countless opportunities. 


ELECTRONIC


Ablation

2016

for live guitar and electronics

Still

2017

A N i n s t a n t A s a n i M a g e N o w s E e e n d S i n c o l o r I S

2015

original text


THEATER


Constellations:

“Mr. Bivona's musical interludes and his use of his guitar to convey some of the tenser moments and to illustrate and punctuate the scenic shifts works marvelously.” - Broadway World

“A final innovation that deserves high praise for this “Constellations” is the subtle yet universe-shaping concept of having the show’s short bursts of background music performed by a live musician. Composer/performer Billy Bivona can be seen toward the back of the auditorium, in a place where a theater might ordinarily put a soundboard. He watches the actors and follows their movements with jazzy electric guitar fingerings. These are not wild improvisations — the actors’ movements are set, and Bivona is limited in the areas where he can musically intrude. But having him there live puts the performance on another plane. It’s similar to having a modern dance troupe perform to a live combo rather than a recording. There’s a warmth that makes all the difference.” - The Hartford Courant

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby is a direct adaptation of a Charles Dickens novel of the same name and runs for approximately 8 hours.  I was fortunate enough to arrange, transcribe, and write original compositions for when the Hartt School Theater Division ambitiously, and very successfully, staged this production in the fall of 2015. This video contains just a fraction of what was used, as the final production contained over an hours worth of music.

These recordings feature a large group of Hartt's finest instrumentalists, whose graciously volunteered time made the vision for this music, and production, possible. 

Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing was staged at the Hartt School in the spring of 2016. This production, uniquely and brilliantly set in 1950's revolutionary Cuba, required an explicit illustration of that culture and era through varying styles of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian rhythms, including Rhumba, Cha-cha-cha, Samba, Bossa, and Salsa. 


Instrumentalists include:
Michelle Zarco - Flute
Leo Catricala - Bass
Marcus Kreiger - Percussion
Ben Scanlon - Percussion
myself - Guitar, Piano


CHOIR



Christmas Day

This work was originally written for the "Composers On Holiday, Vol. 2" CD, released in the winter of 2014. "Composers On Holiday" was a collaboration of numerous student composers and vocalists at the Hartt School of Music.
Christmas Day was a semi-finalist in NoteNova's 2015 Choral Composition Competition and is available for download on their website.
If you are interested in purchasing the sheet music for this piece, looking to explore a variety of beautiful choir music and thoughtful composers, or are interested in publishing opportunities for yourself, you can visit their website here:


Dancing

This piece was written for and recorded by the New York City based vocal ensemble, khorikos, in 2015.
The text for this piece is a poem written by my sister, Kathleen Bivona.
To learn more about khorikos and their powerful, unique, and innovative approach to vocal music, new and old, you can visit their website here:

I Heard The Bells

This work, among many others, was written as a part of my residency with the West Avon Congregational Church in Avon Connecticut, from 2015 - 2016. This residency involved collaboration with the members of the choir, the organist, and the director Andrey Stolyarov; a very talented composer, vocalist, conductor, and educator. You can visit Andrey's website here: