San Francisco-based composer and mezzo-soprano Patricia Wallinga connects audiences with unheard stories, voices, and ideas of the modern world. Her work has earned praise as “powerful” (Bloomington Herald-Times) and “damn brilliant” (conductor and composer Eric Whitacre), Wallinga is known for her intricate, charismatic music that engages with traditions from literature, dance, theater, and folk music alongside influences from the classical canon. She is particularly fond of art song, a genre where she has earned notable early-career accolades. Her first song cycle Dreams in War Time received a BMI Student Composer Award in 2015, an honor bestowed on just nine of over 700 applicants; she was also named a finalist for the National Association of Teachers of Singing 2019 Art Song Composition Award for her 2018 cycle The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Other highlights of Wallinga’s career include residency as a composer fellow at the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music in collaboration with the Del Sol String Quartet, and a project to reimagine Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s Sonata in G Minor as a piano concerto (commissioned by Boston-based Ballets Russes Arts Initiative).
As a working mezzo-soprano who specializes in contemporary choral performance, Wallinga is a proud member of the composer-performer tradition. She has performed at Carnegie Hall and the American Choral Directors Association National Conference with Indiana University’s elite contemporary vocal ensemble NOTUS, with whom she premiered and recorded dozens of new choral works, including her own. Wallinga also prides herself on her work in the music community at large, as a vocal advocate for equality and modernity via her extensive Twitter presence, for which she has been quoted and featured in outlets ranging from Classic FM to Rolling Stone Magazine.
Originally from Naperville, Illinois, Wallinga holds a Master of Music Composition degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music Composition from Indiana University. Follow her on Twitter at @pwallinga or learn more at patriciawallinga.com.