MSO’s second annual International Composition Competition participation blooms

MSO’s second annual International Composition Competition participation blooms

Emilio Villacis of Ecuador is the winner of the 2024 MSO International Composition Competition.Mar. 27, 2024 – JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi Symphony Orchestra announces the winner of its second annual International Composition Competition and celebrates the participation bloom.

The winning music piece is composed by Emilio Villacis of Ecuador and will debut in June’s culmination of MSO’s 2024 Premier Orchestral Institute.

Ten countries from around the globe submitted to the competition including Canada, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Israel, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Villacis’ submission is called “From a Brother to The World” and will be rehearsed and played for the first time – a public, world premiere – by POI participants June 7 at 7:00 pm in the Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex at Millsaps College. The performance is free to the public.

Villacis describes his inspiration, “As part of a cycle of three pieces, I decided to create one orchestral work for every member of my family, this is the second one, my brother. This is a short narrative in three smalls acts of his live and my vision of those events. I try to incarnate the man and few of the moments of his life in this music. And with that comes very powerful feelings that gave birth to the most expressive melodies that I have ever written.”

Villacis, an Equador-born musician, began his musical studies at the Pomasqui Municipal Conservatory and continued at the National Conservatory of Music in Quito – Ecuador, obtaining a technical bachelor’s degree in piano under the tutelage of Alex Alarcón Fabre. He holds a degree in music and graduated at the top of his class from the Universidad de los Hemisferios in Equador. He also holds a master’s in composition and is a recipient of the “Extraordinary Prize” from the Universidad Internacional de La Rioja.

He has been the director of the youth orchestra at La Condamine School, pianist for the Camerata of the Ecuadorian House of Culture, arranger for orchestras and symphonic bands throughout Ecuador. As a teacher, he has taught at the Universidad de los Hemisferios, Universidad Central del Ecuador, Taller Vocal Clave 12, and currently resides in Bahrain as a teacher, accompanist, and composer.

His works have been performed by the Loja Symphony Orchestra as well as by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ecuador. Villacis has performed as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ecuador, and he’s won numerous awards from other competitions from Ecuador to Russia.

Dr. Andrew Sauerwein, professor of music (composition/theory) at Belhaven University; Mikhail Zemtsov, 2024 guest conductor; and MSO’s Maestro Crafton Beck, composer and conductor adjudicated the submissions and announced the 2024 winner Mar. 15.

The POI International Composition Competition provides an opportunity for composers of all nationalities to premiere their compositions and encourages composers to include folk music elements in their compositions to preserve cultural heritage. The competition by design provides a wider music range of music for the institute faculty and advanced students orchestra (Master Camerata), during the Premier Orchestral Institute’s summer music festival.

For more information about the summer music experience at POI or to apply to the experience, visit.