Chamber-Scaled Return To Normalcy Sets Tone At An Open-Bar Concert (Classical Voice North America, 27 Oct 2021)
by Jason Victor Serinus
"The Seattle premiere of Patrick Castillo's Winter Light (2020) for two violins, cello, and piano, an ECM co-commission about climate change, highlighted a postponed-from-last-season concert entitled 'What You Are to Me.' ... [The] work began with a solemnity that threatened to lose its tonal center, as if nature were out of balance. Before long, a number of sudden and startling interruptions that included bows striking strings and scratchy cello sounded an unmistakable alarm. A long, slow, and disturbingly cacophonous section for piano led to haunting concluding passages where Park and the two Lees used what appeared to be fishing line to emit soft droning sounds from the piano under Atapine’s cello."
Violinist Jennifer Koh portrays the pandemic through performance (The Johns Hopkins News-Letter, 22 Apr 2021)
by Sarah Jung
"Violinist Jennifer Koh gave a powerful performance for the Shriver Hall Concert Series on April 11. Koh performed selections from Alone Together, a project she started when the pandemic began. ... Out of selections from Alone Together, [one] piece that struck me was Patrick Castillo’s 'Mina Cecilia’s Constitutional.' ... The piece began with the rapid crossing-over of strings using harmonics, which gave it an airy feeling. In one part of the piece, her left hand slid up and down the fingerboard of the violin, creating an eccentric, slippery sound."
Two works stay in the memory in Hotel Elefant opener (New York Classical Review, 28 Sep 2019)
Eric C. Simpson reviews Hotel Elefant's 2019-20 season opener: "The Way Things Work (2016), by Hotel Elefant’s executive director, Patrick Castillo, contrasts roughness and violence with stillness in a duet for violin and cello. Scattered lines move quickly from one idea to the next. There is a kind of expressiveness in the competing lines of the two instruments, even if progression is difficult to follow. ...
"Closing the program was the strongest piece of the night, Lois V Vierk’s well-known Red Shift from 1989. ... Hotel Elefant’s musicians played with expert precision under Castillo’s direction."
ChamberFest Cleveland takes bracing trip ’Bach to the Future’ with Alexi Kenney (The Plain Dealer, 20 Jun 2019)
by Zachary Lewis
"The Adagio from Sonata No. 1, Largo from Sonata No. 3, and selections from Partita No. 1 comprised the night’s skeleton, the rigorous frame on which Kenney hung an elaborate wardrobe. Each Bach entry came with its own modern counterparts, works related in spirit, structure, or sound.
"Paired with the Adagio were no fewer than four works: Enescu’s vibrant 'Minstrel,' a virtuoso showpiece plainly rooted in Bach; Kurtag’s 'Ruhelos' ('Restless'), which builds to a vocal outburst; Berio’s 'Thema,' a collection of violin strains set to recorded poetry by James Joyce; and 'Cirque,' a colorful, neatly crafted piece by the festival’s own Patrick Castillo."
2019 First Quarter Report: Concerts (An Earful, 4 Apr 2019)
"Third Sound, founded in 2015 by composer Patrick Castillo with violinist Karen Kim, cellist Michael Nicolas, pianist Orion Weiss, flautist Sooyun Kim and clarinetist Romie de Langlois, programmed a set that had enough variety to show what they can do while also keeping it concise. Ingrid Arauco’s Fantasy Quartet was a perfect opener - sparkling, astringent and colorful, it gave many opportunities for the musicians to shine. Next was Music For Four composed by the group’s founder, Patrick Castillo, and inspired by watching his young son at play. It was a piece infused with warmth and joy, making equally canny use of repetition and surprise. Finally, in keeping with their mission to embrace to whole sweep of chamber music, they stormed through Webern’s imaginative reduction of Schoenberg’s Kammersymphonie, Op. 9. All of the work’s angst and artfulness was brilliantly exposed by their passionate playing, earning them an enthusiastic ovation."
Henry Cowell's New World Is Still Very Much With Us (San Francisco Classical Voice, 10 Apr 2018)
Joe Cadagin reviews Third Sound's performance of Wang Lu's Urban Inventory, "a soundscape of city life in Xi’an, weaving together street recordings with instrumental material. ... Conductor Patrick Castillo kept the tempo loose and lilting, allowing the players to convincingly convey the flexible rhythms of spoken Chinese. At the end of the work, however, Castillo pushed the ensemble toward an overpowering final chord that called to mind those radiant cadences that end many of Messiaen’s works. Seconds after the cutoff, I had ordered Third Sound’s recording of Urban Inventory from Amazon—it was one of the finest works of new music I’ve heard in a while."
Music Hot Off the Press (San Francisco Classical Voice, 7 Mar 2017)
by Rebecca Wishnia
"Performing later in the day, Areon Flutes (Jill Heinke Moen, Kassey Plaha, and Meerenai Shim), was as strong, particularly in like the tide, by New York-based composer Patrick Castillo. This episodic trio evokes water’s movement through a host of colorful effects, including deep, slow breaths that create faintly whistling pitches."
Patrick Castillo: The Quality of Mercy (Kathodik, 15 Feb 2016)
Filippo Focosi reviews The Quality of Mercy for Italian webzine Kathodik: "Castillo è un autore con uno stile personale ben definito, non da ultimo dalla raffinatezza delle soluzioni timbriche, che aggiungono fascino a una musica già di per sé stimolante."
Patrick Castillo: The Quality of Mercy (Textura, Feb 2016)
"Contrasts in composition and sound design are plentiful on this fifty-two-minute collection, and The Quality of Mercy impresses as a bold and auspicious recording."
Patrick Castillo: The Quality of Mercy (Klasika ir džiazas, 25 Jan 2016)
Lithuanian classical music & jazz blog Klasika ir džiazas reviews The Quality of Mercy, praising the album's "innovative, intriguing, and inventive sound" (novatoriško, intriguojančio ir išradingo skambesio).
Patrick Castillo: The Quality of Mercy (Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, 21 Jan 2016)
This is the hour of lead and The Quality of Mercy are "expressive, evocative," writes Grego Applegate Edwards. "Castillo has a vibrant feel for complexes of sound that have a narrative quality, a poetic demeanor, a superior sense of dramatic color weaving that makes for some very moving chamber music."
Grief and Reconciliation: Patrick Castillo’s The Quality of Mercy (I Care If You Listen, 20 Jan 2016)
Don Clark writes, "The Quality of Mercy–an expertly recorded, artistically packaged recording of three major compositions by Patrick Castillo on the enterprising Innova records–showcases a composer deserving of wider exposure. ... The music is restrained and reflective but brimming with a variety of texture and sound that draws you into its world. ... Patrick Castillo is a composer that has something to say and knows how to communicate his message. Look forward to more from this important voice."
Baker's Dozen Best CDs, 2015 Edition (Pictures on Silence, 23 Dec 2015)
Composer CD Reviews: Recordings of music by Patrick Castillo & Peter V. Swendsen (ClevelandClassical.com, 17 Dec 2015)
Patrick Castillo's The Quality of Mercy is "affecting and sensitively orchestrated," writes Daniel Hautzinger. "[A] gorgeous, masterfully crafted canvas."
New York-based Third Sound ensemble debuts in Old Havana (I Care If You Listen, 15 Dec 2015)
by Arlene & Larry Dunn
When American Composers Forum was invited by festival director Guido López-Gavilán to bring an artists delegation to the 28th Havana Contemporary Music Festival, it coalesced perfectly with ACF board vice-chair Patrick Castillo's recent efforts to form a new performing ensemble with his wife, violinist Karen Kim. “We wanted to assemble a group of musicians whom we could trust with the broad sweep of chamber repertoire,” Castillo reports, “to take everything from Mozart to Schoenberg to stuff with the ink still wet equally seriously, with total curiosity, and absolutely kill it, no matter what the program.” Highly-regarded chamber players...
The Quality of Mercy (Klara Late Night, 15 Dec 2015)
Belgian internet radio station Klara Late Night features The Quality of Mercy, "een vrij abstracte maar indrukwekkende meditatie over verzoening van de Amerikaanse componist Patrick Castillo."
Hear A New Music Journey, From The U.S. To Havana (NPR Music, 9 Dec 2015)
by Anastasia Tsioulcas
When you think of Cuban music, contemporary classical most likely isn't the first — or possibly even fifth — genre that springs to mind. But a group of American composers and musicians couldn't resist an opportunity to travel to the island to present their own music and seek out their Cuban colleagues' work — and frankly, neither could I. We traveled together last month to the Havana Festival of Contemporary Music, for the event's 28th edition.
Music@Menlo's Castillo Records The Quality of Mercy (San Francisco Classical Voice, 17 Nov 2015)
by Janos Gereben
Patrick Castillo is well-known to Music@Menlo audiences as artistic administrator, publication manager, and popular lecturer for the past decade, but he is also a busy composer, and his new work, The Quality of Mercy, has just been released by Innova Recordings. Castillo is better known around here as an executive and manager at the festival, but otherwise, he has had an important composing career...
5 Questions to Patrick Castillo (American Composers Forum) (I Care If You Listen, 5 May 2015)
By Arlene & Larry Dunn
Brooklyn-based composer Patrick Castillo is the vice-chair of the board of directors for the American Composers Forum, which has an open call for scores from composers to participate in an artist delegation to the 28th Havana Contemporary Music Festival in November 2015. Castillo attended the Havana festival last year, making him the ideal person to tell us more.