The Nashville-based Cristina Spinei writes music that has been described as “hypnotically rhythmic and melodically pleasing.” Active as a composer and a performer, she is much in demand with dance companies and international ensembles. Her collaboration with choreographers is highlighted on her debut album, Music for Dance, released by Toccata Classics in 2016. The six pieces on the album were originally written for Kathleen Dyer KDNY Dance and Andrea Miller’s Gallim Dance. “Dance companies love the rhythmic vitality of her scores. Audiences love the lyricism. She’s the real deal, so we’ll be hearing much more from her” (John Pitcher - Nashville Scene).
Cristina’s music draws upon two main themes, movement and loops. Upon graduating from Juilliard she co-founded Blind Ear, a collective of composers and musicians who present technology-driven concerts. The unique software that Blind Ear uses allows for composers to send loops to musicians in real-time while the musicians perform by reading those loops off of laptops. One particular Blind Ear show combined live composition with dance improvisation. That set of loops composed by Cristina later turned into a fixed piece for string orchestra, Synched, which appears both on her debut album and on Adagio conducted by José Serebrier with St. Michel Strings.
“Like each of the pieces on Music for Dance, Synched has a characteristic feeling, it makes a statement... there's also a strong lyrical streak in this music, and an open, folk-like feeling...Mixed with a good dollop of pop music...Spinei's music comes out sounding like Spinei. And that's the sign of a composer to watch out for in the future” (Dean Frey - Music for Several Instruments).
In addition to Adagio, Cristina’s music appears on Trio Céleste’s debut album. Part of a set of miniature variations on a theme by Beethoven, her piece If Beethoven Danced Merengue imagines what the composer’s music would sound like if he composed after a night out at the Copacabana. The minute-and-a-half piece gave Cristina the idea to compose miniature works specifically for Instagram. Her piece Sonatagram, performed by cellist Cremaine Booker (That Cello Guy) and herself on piano has been viewed over 20,000 times on the platform.
Cristina’s compositions have been commissioned and performed by Cincinnati Sound Box, Gateway Chamber Orchestra, Intersection, Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, the Nashville Ballet, the National Symphony Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Guanajuato, New York Choreographic Institute, New Dialect, New York Piano Quartet, Orchestra of Uruguay OSSODRE, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the Racine Symphony Orchestra, among others. She received her BM and MM in composition from the Juilliard School where she studied with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Christopher Rouse.