Short bio

Sugar Vendil is a composer, pianist, and interdisciplinary artist based in New York City. Her artistic practice is strongly rooted in rigorous discipline as a musician and gradually expanded into performance that integrates music, movement, and unconventional approaches to the piano.  She is a proud second generation Filipinx American.

She is currently an Artist in Residence at High Concept Labs in Chicago and she has been awarded a Chamber Music America commission to write a new work for her ensemble, The Nouveau Classical Project, which she founded in 2008. Earlier this year, Vendil was a finalist in National Sawdust’s 2019 Hildegard Competition. ETHEL will premiere her new string quartet in December 2019 as part of their Homebaked commissioning program. She was a 2019 resident artist at Mabou Mines and an artist in residence at Target Margin Theater. In 2016, she was a Fellow in the Target Margin Institute for Collaborative Theater Making, which encouraged her to further pursue composition and performance making.  Other residencies include Marble House Project, Summer Labs at National Sawdust, Avaloch Farm, Earthdance (E|MERGE Multidisciplinary Residency), the A-Z West Wagon Station Encampment, Arts Letters & Numbers, and Yaddo.  She holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance.

She has performed at a variety of venues, ranging from arts spaces such as BAM Fisher, Dixon Place, Knockdown Center’s Ready Room, MoMa PS1, National Sawdust, the New School’s Glassbox Theater, The Stone, and Roulette; to galleries and spaces such as The Development Gallery, Milk Studios, and Spring Studios.

Vendil is an advocate of the oxford comma, is obsessed with her cat Coco, and has an excellent memory. 

Photo:  Elizabeth Haynes . Special thanks to  Yaddo

Photo: Elizabeth Haynes. Special thanks to Yaddo

Long bio

Sugar Vendil is a composer, pianist, and interdisciplinary artist based in New York City. Her artistic practice is strongly rooted in rigorous discipline as a musician and gradually expanded into performance that integrates music, movement, and unconventional approaches to the piano. She is a proud second generation Filipinx American.

Most recently, Vendil was awarded a Chamber Music America commission to write a new work for her ensemble, The Nouveau Classical Project, which she founded in 2008. In early 2019, she was a finalist for National Sawdust’s 2019 Hildegard Competition and her piece was performed in the Competition concert by flutist Allison Loggins-Hull and pianist Kathleen Tagg under the baton of conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya. ETHEL will premiere her new string quartet Unsacred Geometry in December 2019, which was commissioned her for their 2019 Homebaked Commissioning program. In 2020 she is being commissioned by Boston-based violin and clarinet duo Box Not Found. In 2018 her work Islander was selected for Dixon Place’s work in progress performance series. Past works include music for calligrapher Aoi Yamaguchi, visual artist Luma Jasim, and visual artist/choreographer Beau Rhee of Atelier de Geste.  

She is currently an Artist in Residence at High Concept Labs in Chicago. She was a 2019 Artist in Residence at Target Margin Theater, and a 2019 Resident Artist at Mabou Mines, an artist-driven experimental theater collective founded in 1970 by Lee Breuer, JoAnne Akalaitis, Philip Glass, Ruth Maleczech (1939-2013), Fred Neumann (1926-2012), and David Warrilow.

Vendil’s Test Sites is a series of performance pieces that are experiments in process. Each Test Site involves a short-term process and are exercises in limits and creativity. While in residence at Target Margin, Vendil created Test Site 4: Now, Then, and then with her collaborator Jing Yu. Vendil created an additional Test Site, titled Test Site 5: Seedlings at Marble House Project in July 2019, which included an unplanned 30-foot drawing along with music for voice and electronics. She performed the first Test Site, created in collaboration with choreographer Coco Karol, at Periapsis Music and Dance’s Open Series in 2016. Later that year, she made a music video, Test Site 2: Sounds Within Sculptures, in collaboration with composer Trevor Gureckis and violinist Hajnal Pivnick. The work incorporated gongs from the Museum of Art and Design’s Harry Bertoia exhibition, Atmosphere for Enjoyment.

Vendil has performed and had her work featured at a variety of venues, ranging from arts spaces such as BAM Fisher, Dixon Place, Knockdown Center’s Ready Room, MoMa PS1, National Sawdust, the New School’s Glassbox Theater, The Stone, and Roulette; to galleries and studios such as The Development Gallery, Milk Studios, and Spring Studios. 

She will be in residence at Crosstown Arts in Memphis, TN in July 2020. Previous residencies include Yaddo, Marble House Project, Summer Labs at National Sawdust, Avaloch Farm, Earthdance (E|MERGE Multidisciplinary Residency), Andrea Zittel’s A-Z West, and Arts Letters & Numbers.  

Vendil is a recipient of Puffin Foundation and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Creative Engagement grants. Her time as Fellow in the Target Margin Institute for Collaborative Theater Making in 2016 encouraged her to further pursue composition and performance making. She holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance.