Felipe Tovar-Henao

Felipe Tovar-Henao headshot

Characterized by a strong interest in engaging the audience on multiple perceptual levels, the music of Colombian composer Felipe Tovar-Henao (b.1991) has been consistently awarded and performed throughout his emerging professional career. His creative work is deeply rooted in aesthetic experiences with technology, philosophy, and cinema, and exists primarily within the realms of chamber, electro-acoustic, multimedia, choral, vocal, and orchestral music. 

Recent highlights include being a resident composer at the 2020 Mizzou International Composers Festival, being a finalist of the 2019 SEAMUS/ASCAP Award, as well as receiving the 2018 SCI/ASCAP Student Commission Award and the 2018 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award. 

His music has been performed by artists and ensembles such as Alarm Will Sound, Sound Icon, IU New Music Ensemble, Hear no Evil, Sociedad de Música de Cámara de Bogotá, Ensamble Periscopio, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Orquesta Sinfónica EAFIT, Primavera Cuarteto, among many others. Similarly, he has received commissions and grants from institutions, including SCI/ASCAP, Mizzou New Music Initiative, FilarMed, Indiana University, Colombian Ministry of Culture, Alcaldía de Medellín, and Universidad EAFIT. 

He has been a featured composer at a variety of international festivals such as WOCMAT (Taiwan, 2019), Electroacoustic Barn Dance (US, 2019), SCI National Conference (US, 2019), SEAMUS National Conference (US, 2019, ‘18), Seoul International Computer Music Festival (South Korea, 2017), IRCAM’s CIEE Summer Contemporary Music Creation + Critique Program and ManiFeste Academy (France, 2016), Electroacoustic Music Midwest (US, 2016), and the Midwest Composer Symposium (US, 2019, ‘16).   

He has been recently appointed as the 2021-22 CCCC Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Chicago. 

Felipe Tovar-Hanao's «Simulacra» premiered on March 4, 2022 with the Grossman Ensemble.

Program notes:

phase i: reflection

phase ii: masking/denaturing

phase iii: masking/absence

phase iv: simulacrum

In Simulacra and Simulation (1981), French sociologist Jean Baudrillard questions the extent to which contemporary Western culture and society can be said to be rooted in reality, as opposed to symbolically mediated simulations of it. These simulations or representations can be further differentiated according to the degree of detachment from their original, going from transparent copies, to counterfeit, to simulacrum — copies that precede their original, or have no original whatsoever. In «Simulacra», free reinterpretations of these ideas appear, where the duality of the original and its copies are found in the use of instruments and recordings of them, acoustic vs. electroacoustic sounds, real vs. simulated speech, or musical materials and their different instantiations. «Simulacra» was commissioned by the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition at the University of Chicago.

Felipe Tovar-Hanao's «Simulacra»