Tessa Brinckman

Interdisciplinary flutist/composer Tessa Brinckman has been praised as a “flutist of chameleon-like gifts” and “virtuoso elegance” (Gramophone), an “excellent…flutist” (Willamette Week) and “highlight of Portland” (New Music Box), who “play(s) her instrument with great beauty and eloquence” (Music Matters New Zealand). She has premiered over a hundred (and commissioned more than twenty) new works, within many classical music ensembles and concert series in the United States, South Africa, France and New Zealand. She enjoys creating and performing work that honors synesthesia, dialect, innate meter and collaboration.

Her orchestral, chamber, solo performances and residencies include the Oregon Symphony, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Waikato and Canterbury Universities in New Zealand, Britt Festival of Music & Arts, Festival of New American Music, Ashland Independent Film, Oregon Bach, Oregon Shakespeare, Ernest Bloch, New Haven International Arts, Bumbershoot, and Astoria Music Festivals. Performing on flute, piccolo, alto, bass, contrabass and baroque flutes, and miscellaneous keyboards, Tessa also co-directs the ever-polymathic bi-coastal duo, Caballito Negro, with percussionist Terry Longshore. She has recorded, composed and performed in major regional theaters across the United States and internationally, as well as for radio, TV and film. Her co-composition for Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman’s White Snake was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award (2014). Her experimental video (with Jane Rigler), Women in Parallel Empires (2021), explores the moon, extraction, and “Empire”, and has won 8 film festival awards for both music score and experimental film. The Gorgon Cycles (2023) (with animators Miles Inada and Devyn McConachie), a story of Medusa’s rise in the Anthropocene, has won 5 film festival awards for both music scoring and animation.

Over the past 20 years Tessa has created unique programs which blend technology, cultural traditions, and contemporary geo-political themes. Her own work as a composer is evolving to create animation, installations and video, often with a surrealist, humorous and political spirit. She has served on the music faculties of various Oregon universities and colleges, and teaches workshops and masterclasses in the USA and abroad.

Having recently moved to New York City, Tessa’s upcoming projects include a February 2024 album release, Take Wing, Roll Back (New Focus Recordings), that embodies her personal and artistic connections to New Zealand, USA, South Africa and France; releasing several of her scores for various flutes and mixed media; guest artist collaborations in NYC (including concerts at Le Poisson Rouge and Roulette) and other new music concerts across the US; and recent support from a Bethany Arts Community Interdisciplinary Residency and New York Women Composers Seed Money Grant.