Born and raised in Aguascalientes, Mexico, Luis Ramirez (b.1992) is a Mexican-Canadian composer with a penchant for rhythmically colorful textures and visually arresting soundscapes that often incorporate elements of Mexican folklore and a cinematic approach to musical story-telling. He is currently pursuing a doctorate with Randolph Peters at York University.
Luis has received praise for his "great talent and imaginative, unique voice" (Jocelyn Morlock) and his works have been performed by some of the top orchestras in North America, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. His chamber music has received premieres across the world, with performances at the Casalmaggiore Festival in Italy, AugustFest in Manitoba, Festival Cervantino in Mexico, and the Class Axe Workshops across Canada.
His work Chido earned him the CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition, and in 2019 Chido was awarded the first prize of the Sir Ernest MacMillan Awards of the SOCAN Foundation. Other prestigious awards include The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition Honorable Mention, the OAC Music Creation Projects Grant and the Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Award. He was the first recipient of the Jacques Israelievitch Scholarship at York University, established to honor the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s longest-tenured concertmaster.
Luis has received commissions from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Trio Kalysta, and GroundSwell, to name a few. In 2020, he was chosen as a composer fellow for the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and he was recently commissioned for a second time by the TSO as part of their 2022/23 NextGen Composers program.
Luis grew up in a time in Mexico when there was virtually no support for the arts and a career in music was very difficult. Despite the challenging environment, his curiosity-driven mind and relentless ambition have been crucial ingredients in his musical and personal development. He discovered his love for piano music at an early age, and his fascination with composition emerged through his interest in performing contemporary music. In 2012 he received a full scholarship to study at Brandon University in Manitoba where he earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance and Master of Music degree in 2016 studying with Alexander Tselyakov. He subsequently obtained a Master of Music degree in Composition with Dr. Patrick Carrabré at Brandon University the following year.
An eclectic musician, Luis has toured the Canadian Prairies as a classical pianist, taught composition at York University, conducted the Brandon Community Orchestra, presented his academic research at conferences around the world, and performed at bars with his tango quintet.