CHRIS KAPICA (b. 1986 – Carmel, NY) strives to straddle the line between the classical and popular music worlds. He draws influence from concerted, rock, funk, R&B, jazz, flamenco and world music, forming an amalgam all his own. After studying composition with Christopher Rouse, Kapica received his Bachelor of Music degree in 2008 and Master of Music degree in 2009 from The Juilliard School, where he also taught Ear Training. Since then, Kapica’s work has garnered burgeoning interest. He is currently working on a piece for solo clarinet, to be premiered by Pascual Martinez Forteza as part of the New York Philharmonic’s inaugural Biennial festival in June 2014. In May 2012, the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s new music group, the Dogs of Desire, commissioned and premiered Kapica’s multimedia work, entitled ://eN+#r@11eD_ (“enthralled”), depicting a hypothetical, dystopian future of human integration with machines. The piece featured the choreography of Jehbreal Muhammad and crossover dance of George Sanders, who wore a jacket adorned with remote-controlled LED lights and EL wire built by Tom Nasca. In April 2010, Steve Smith of the New York Times noted that the musical devices in Kapica’s mini-musical about kindergartners, Juice Box Hero, “were deployed with sure instincts and dramatic flair.” A collaborative work with choreographer Bret Easterling, Flak, earned Kapica a 2009 ASCAP Morton Gould award. He presented the piece in a Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center masterclass with William Bolcom.
Many audiences arrive at this young composer’s music through his own dynamic playing. A recent work for percussion quartet Line C3, Bass Quest IX: The Thunderstick Chronicles, featured the composer as soloist on electric bass. The piece premiered in March 2012 as part of Carnegie Hall’s “Neighborhood Concert” series. In May 2010, the East Coast Contemporary Ensemble commissioned and performed Kapica’s homage to Jimi Hendrix, tHE NeeD foR a fIX, in Woodstock, NY, with the composer on electric guitar. In 2009 in Florence, Italy, Kapica and jazz pianist Jonathan Batiste co-wrote a musical adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, commissioned by NYU’s Continuum Company and with Kapica on electric bass, guitar and bass clarinet. As a member of Batiste’s sextet and, currently, the rock band Gonzo Jones, Kapica has shared a bill with renowned artists: The Allman Brothers Band, Heart, Kansas, The Black Keys, Bob Seger, Kid Rock, George Clinton, Neil Young, the Neville Brothers, McCoy Tyner, Esperanza Spalding and many others. He has played in venues ranging from Alice Tully Hall and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York to The Roxy in Los Angeles and DTE Energy Music Theater in Auburn Hills. Festival appearances include New Orleans JazzFest, Central Park SummerStage, the Wanee Festival, Orlando Calling and the Skidmore Jazz Institute (where the local paper first penned his moniker, “The Monster”).