Originally from Athens, Greece, Theocharis Papatrechas is a composer, music technologist, sound artist, and music educator based in Oakland, CA. He is currently a Visiting Researcher and Composer at the Center for New Music & Audio Technologies (CNMAT) of the University of California, Berkeley.
Theocharis holds a PhD in Music from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where he worked closely with three exceptional figures in the field; Rand Steiger, Lei Liang, and Miller Puckette. He also had the privilege to study at other significant institutions including the Eastman School of Music, IRCAM, Sibelius Academy, and Ionian University. He is the Artistic Director of the ilSUONO Contemporary Music Week, a composition and electronic music academy that takes place in Città di Castello, Italy since 2016.
As a composer, he has produced an extensive and colorful artistic portfolio. It consists of instrumental, electroacoustic, acousmatic, sound art, and sound installation works that involve acoustic components, pre-recorded media, and generative and interactive processes, being presented within immersive environments using multi-channel configuration setups and Ambisonics.
In his creative practice, Theocharis is preoccupied with themes such as tactility, fragility, fragmentation, granulation, sound sculpting, and sonic spaces. He is fascinated with the conception and development of interdisciplinary artistic experiences through the symbiosis of a plethora of components for instance, technology, performance artists, visual media, and raw acoustic data from the natural world.
Theocharis maintains an active career collaborating with numerous performers and institutions globally. His compositions have been written for and performed by leading groups, such as the Mivos Quartet, ensemble Intercontemporain, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, East Coast Contemporary Ensemble (ECCE), and have been presented in the contexts of IRCAM, CCRMA at Stanford, SEAMUS at Berklee College, SPLICE Institute, Qualcomm Institute of Technology (Calit2), New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF), University of Montreal, and Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
His compositions have been awarded in, among others, the 1st International Antonin Dvorak Composition Competition (3rd Prize), Eastman Orchestral Composition Competition (1st Prize), and 9th International Foudoulis Composition Competition (2nd Prize). He has also been the finalist for the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and the Kanter String Quartet Composition Prize. For his academic work, he has been awarded fellowships and grants from the prestigious American Hellenic Educational Progress Association, and Onassis and Samuel Adler Foundations. The 2020-21 edition of his festival ilSUONO Contemporary Music Week was supported by the esteemed Ernst Von Siemens Music Foundation.
Since 2018, Theocharis has been employed as Research Assistant at the Qualcomm Institute of Technology (Calit2), collaborating with a team of artists and scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography on a project entitled Hearing Seascapes. With their workspace being the Institute’s Spatialization Lab, the team extracts, deploys, and electronically manipulates raw audio recording data captured by hydrophones at the bottom of the Arctic ocean. The project's objective is to bring unseen elements of nature to the broader community through artistic experiences.
As a teacher, Theocharis has mentored a large number of students and has been appraised as a “super knowledgeable and fun teacher”, who “…always presents the materials very clearly” and “…gives out valuable tips that have substantially helped me to develop my skills further.” He has obtained considerable experience, having taught Composition, Music Fundamentals, Counterpoint, Theory and History of Electronic Music, Advanced Computer Music, Sound in Time, History of 20th Century Music.
Finally, Theocharis is the Artistic Director of the ilSUONO Contemporary Music Week. The program's core mission is to diversify the practice by bringing together young music creators of diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, and aesthetics to learn, share, and collaborate. ilSUONO is delighted to have invited exceptional senior composers, among others, Chaya Czernowin, Rand Steiger, Franck Bedrossian, Carola Bauckholt, and Philippe Leroux. Stellar performers ilSUONO has had the pleasure to work with include the [Switch~ Ensemble], and ensembles Schallfeld and Lemniscate. ilSUONO has had participating composers representing 37 countries. Theocharis and the ilSUONO team are immensely proud of their participants having left our academy with such inspiration and having developed their craft, they keep on flourishing in their careers, continuing their endeavors at institutions like Harvard, UC Berkeley, IRCAM, and Conservatoire de Paris.
Theocharis has given master-classes at the Ionian University as well as talks at Stanford University and the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC).
Since the summer of 2020, he is the composer-in-residence at the Paxos Festival in Greece. In 2021, Theocharis will be the composer-in-residence of the Neofonia Festival de Musica Nueva Ensenada at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC) in Mexico.