Composer Paul Pinto creates, performs and produces experimental music and theatrical works, primarily focused innovative and engaging new form of opera-theater that fuse the musicality of American speech, poetry, classical music, extended vocal techniques and electronic sound art. He is a founding member of the acclaimed collectives Varispeed and thingNY, and his music has been performed across the U.S. and internationally with and by ensembles, performers and presenters around the world, including Joan La Barbara, Pauline Oliveros, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Ne(x)tworks, the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, loadbang, wildUP!, The Industry in LA, The Royal Scottish Academy Chamber Chorus, the Carnegie Mellon Concert Chorus, New Thread Saxophone Quartet, Iktus Percussion, BRIC Arts, The Whitney Biennial, The Kitchen, Roulette, Experiments in Opera, the Panoply Performance Laboratory and Performa.
His recent work as a composer, collaborator, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist has been praised in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, NewMusicBox and Time Out New York. His opera Thomas Paine in Violence was hailed as “expressive, impressive and engaging” by the Times, and “thrilling and rare, and must be experienced” by Schmopera. With his performance collective, Varispeed, Paul created a new site-specific arrangement of Robert Ashley's seminal opera for television, Perfect Lives, which made TONY's "Best of 2011" List and was praised by the Times as one of the "standout operas of recent decades".
For years, Paul has been an advocate of underrepresented experimentalists in the classical music concert halls, particularly Julius Eastman and Robert Ashley, and has worked to diversify modern opera and experimental music theatre both in casting, and in form and style. Paul has chosen to work equally with traditional instruments and vocalists, lo-fi electronics, unconventional sound-makers and amateur musicians, creating one-minute opera, concert length chamber music, and durational performance art. At the helm of thingNY, Paul has premiered hundreds of works from emerging and established composers including Pauline Oliveros, Vinko Globokar, Art Jarvinen, Gelsey Bell, John King, Kyle Gann, Rick Burkhardt, and Gerard Grisey. With thingNY, he co-created and performed the operas ADDDDDDDDD (2008), TIME: A Complete Explanation in Three Parts (2011), Jeff Young and Paul Pinto, Patriots, Run for Public Office on a Platform of Swift and Righteous Immigration Reform, Lots of Jobs, and a Healthy Environment (2013) and This Takes Place Close By(2015). Of their latest work, the new music journal I Care If You Listen writes “rarely, if ever, [have I] seen an encyclopedic array of experimental effects so intimately linked with their expressive potential."
As a vocalist, Paul has performed in the U.S. and Asia in untraditional chamber music works and experimental and improvisatory creations, including the 5-octave lead role in Peter Maxwell Davies' Eight Songs for a Mad King, in John Sanborn and Dorian Wallace's video opera, Temptation of St. Anthony, and originating the Broadway role of Balaga in Dave Malloy and Rachel Chavkin's hit musical, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.
Scenes from his ballet, Miseke are available on DVD and CD through the educational UK label, Learning and Teaching Scotland. In addition to thingNY's comic book opera release ADDDDDDDDD and their latest album minis/Trajectories, Paul has self-released four albums: The Gentlemen (2009), a suite for vocals and electronics, Every Note on the Piano (2010), NUDES: live at the Mary Benson Gallery (2010), and For Stefanos Tsigrimanis (2011) an elegy for turntables, voice, guitar and electronics. His scores have been published by Deep Listening Publications.
Paul is a recipient of several awards and grants from the New York Department of Cultural Affairs, New Music USA, Chamber Music America, The Puffin Foundation, and a three-year residency at the HERE Arts Center, where he developed Thomas Paine in Violence. He was born and raised in Queens, a child of immigrants, studied at Carnegie Mellon with Nancy Galbraith, Leonardo Balada and with Robert Page, and then at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with John Maxwell Geddes, before moving back to New York. He now lives in Jersey City with his wife, Amanda, and his new dog, Lady.