Nicholas Vasallo

Nicholas Vasallo
Nicholas Vasallo

Promotional photo from 2009.
Background information
Born October 28, 1979 (1979-10-28) (age 32)
Occupations Composer

Nicholas Vasallo (born October 28, 1979 in Oakland, California) is an Asian-American composer.[1] In 1997, Vasallo graduated from Monte Vista High School in Danville, California, where he began his musical career as an electric guitarist and vocalist in a punk band called Y.F.H.

He graduated from California State University, East Bay with a B.A. in Music. As a Chancellor's Fellow at University of California, Santa Cruz, Vasallo completed his M.A. in 2009 and subsequently went on to finish his D.M.A. in 2011 as a President's Fellow. His teachers included David Evan Jones, Paul Nauert, David Cope, Hi-Kyung Kim, Frank La Rocca, Jeffrey Miller, Rafael Hernandez, Ken Ueno, and Francois Rose.

He taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Los Medanos College. He teaches at California State University, East Bay[2] and Gavilan College.

As a composer, Vasallo's work has encompassed a variety of genres and projects. Most notably with his post-metal group Antagony,[3] film music career,[4] pop punk band Scolding Romeo and concert music works.[5] Polystylism or Eclecticism has been linked to his compositions[6] which range from electronic, orchestral, wind band, trombone ensemble, solo piano, choral, and instrumentations utilizing the overdriven sound of electric guitar.[7] His compositional approach involves mixing disparate elements from Extreme Metal to Taiko, Spectral Music, Algorithmic Music, and various 20th-century compositional techniques. Vasallo is a recipient of the 2010/2011 President's $21k Dissertation-Year Fellowship, the first Arts student to ever receive the honor.[8]

His music has been performed internationally by groups such as Contemporary Music Ensemble Korea,[9] Del Sol String Quartet, San Francisco Choral Artists, Atlanta Schola Cantorum,[10] and Watsonville Taiko.[11] Currently, Vasallo is working with San Francsico Conservatory of Music's BluePrint[12] ensemble as well as collaborating with top-selling deathcore group - All Shall Perish.

As a performer, Vasallo is active as an electric guitarist and extreme metal vocalist.



  • 2011 Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival Music Now Composition Award[13]
  • 2011 Truman State University/MACRO Composition Award[14]
  • 2011 All the Cool Parts Idol Winner[15]
  • 2010/2011 President's Dissertation-Year Fellowship Winner[16]
  • 2009/2010 UCSC Music Department Discretionary Funds Award
  • 2009 San Francisco Choral Artists New Voices Award[17]
  • 2009 Porter College Graduate Arts Research Grant Award
  • 2008 David Cope Award for Compositional Excellence
  • 2008 Seattle Pianist Collective Award
  • 2008 UCSC Student Orchestral Competition Winner
  • 2008 60x60 Project (Pacific Rim mix) Official Selection[18]
  • 2007/2008/2009 UCSC Chancellors Doctoral Fellowship
  • 2007 CSUEB Student Choral Competition Winner[19]


Studio albums
Year Album details
2007 The Burning
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: Ars Nova Classics (ARSNOVA 0105)[20]
2009 Days of Night
  • Released: 2009
  • Label: Deepsend Records(DSR 041)[21]
2011 let the machines do it for us
  • Released: 2011
  • Label: Kunaki(PX00ISYXUX)[22]


  1. ^ "Filipino, Taiwanese" Hapa Voice: A Celebration of Multiracial Identity
  2. ^ CSU East Bay faculty page
  3. ^ "Antagony (USA)" Metal Archives
  4. ^ Nick Vasallo Internet Movie Database
  5. ^ "Music alum, lecturer 'guest composer' at Feb. 24 Symphony concert" by Diane Daniels, Inside CSUEB News Blog
  6. ^ "Nick Vasallo: The Burning" by Steve Hicken Sequenza 21
  7. ^ "The Vertigo Series Part I (LIVE @ CSUEB)"
  8. ^ "Music student gets $21,000 fellowship" by Bonnie Horgos - Santa Cruz Sentinel (May 28, 2010)
  9. ^ "Biography: Contemporary Music Ensemble Korea" Pacific Rim Festival
  10. ^ "California composer Nick Vasallo will center the program." CLASSICAL: Atlanta Schola Cantorum, Piccolo Spoleto
  11. ^ "Nicholas Vasallo’s 'Antares Rising'" University of California, Santa Cruz News and Events
  12. ^ "The BluePrint project, founded by artistic director Nicole Paiement" San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  13. ^ "45th Annual Contemporary Music Festival" Indiana State University 45th Annual Contemporary Music Festival
  14. ^ "2011 Composers Competition Results" Macro Music Composers Competition Winners
  15. ^ "2010 ACP Idol results"
  16. ^ "$21,000 President's Dissertation Year Fellowship" by Public Information Office, University of California, Santa Cruz News, June 28, 2010
  17. ^ "Past Winners" San Francisco Choral Artists New Voices Competition
  18. ^ "42) Evanescent Revolutions II Nick Vasallo" Vox Novus 60x60 Project
  19. ^ "CSUEB Choral Composition Competition Winner Nick Vasallo" by Buddy James, California State University, East Bay, Sounds of the Music Department
  20. ^ "Nick Vasallo: The Burning" Ars Nova Classics
  21. ^ "Antagony: Days of Night" Deep Send Records
  22. ^ "Nicholas Vasallo: let the machines do it for us" Kunaki

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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