Francisco Castillo Trigueros

Francisco Castillo Trigueros

We commissioned Chicago-based composer, Francisco Castillo Trigueros! We are looking forward to premiering his piece in the 2014-15 season!


Chris and Francisco met in 2011 when Chris played a piece by Francisco at the University of Chicago. Between rehearsals, Francisco introduced Chris to a local coffee shop where Chris had the best latte he's ever had. Since then, Chris has wanted to play more of Francisco's music so when the A/B Duo commissioning project started, Francisco was on top of Chris' list of composers.


Prisma for Solo Oboe, 6 East-Asian Instruments, and Strings by Francisco Castillo Trigueros


Francisco Website.jpeg

Francisco Castillo Trigueros (b. 1983) is a composer of contemporary chamber, orchestral and electronic music from Mexico City residing in Chicago. He has received numerous distinctions such as the BMI Student Composer Award, honorable mentions in the 2010 and 2011 Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, and several nominations for the Gaudeamus Music Week Prize in The Netherlands.

Castillo Trigueros has worked extensively with intercultural ensembles. His intercultural work draws from his multi-cultural raising in Mexico, and deals with issues of identity, diversity, and hybridity. It presents diversity while creating unity. In his work Prisma, for oboe, 6 East Asian instruments, and strings, the distinctive eastern and western sound worlds are blended together to create a unified fluid timbre.

Francisco has also composed numerous pieces for traditional music ensembles and orchestras, often including the use of electronics. His pieces are often inspired by visual art. His work Nealika, which he wrote in 2009-10 for eighth blackbird, is inspired by the fluid symmetry and colorful patterns found in Huichol visual art. His work Emblema | Blau for flute, string quartet, and percussion, is structured using one of the most emblematic figures in Mexican culture: the pyramid. 

Francisco's recent collaboration with biochemist Josiah Zayner on The Chromochord, an instrument that allows the sonification of nano-sized light-responsive proteins found in plants, has been featured in several publications including Scientific American.   

Orchestras, ensembles and performers that have performed his music include the Holland Symfonia, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Chicago Composers Orchestra, eighth blackbird, ensemble dal niente, Atlas Ensemble, Nieuw Ensemble, Asko Ensemble, Pacifica String Quartet, Spektral String Quartet, Fonema Consort, Jason Alder, Brian Conelly, Ryan Muncy, and Shanna Gutierrez.

His mentors and teachers include Augusta Read Thomas, Shulamit Ran, Kotoka Susuki, Howard Sandroff at the University of Chicago; Theo Loevendie, Richard Ayres, Fabio Nieder at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam; Shih-Hui Chen, Kurt Stallman, Pierre Jalbert at Rice University; and Haruko Shimizu and Jose Tavarez in Mexico City.

Castillo Trigueros is currently pursuing a Ph.D at the University of Chicago, where he served as Computer Music Studio Manager for three years, and teaching digital music composition at Columbia College Chicago and theory and composition at the New Music School.

Francisco's website.


A/B: Any pre/during/post composition rituals?

Francisco: During: Walking a lot... and by walking I don't mean taking long walks on the beach, I mean pacing around my apartment until ideas crystallize.

A/B: Favorite live musical moment?

Francisco: Mitsuko Uchida playing Schubert Impromptu in G flat minor in the Concertgebouw.

A/B: Favorite Book?

Francisco: Roberto Bolaño's Los detectives salvajes or 2666

A/B: Favorite Sesame Street character?

Francisco: Abelardo (

A/B: Name one item on your bucket list.

Francisco: Traveling to Iran!