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Infused by the notion that momentum is firmly associated with, and driven by intuition, Theocharis' music deals with soft, disembodied, and fragile sonic elements laid out throughout rhythmically intricate environments, all under the scope of a dramaturgical sensibility. The effort towards fragility is realized through the simultaneous application of diverse unconventional instrumental techniques, coalescing into a singular musical event. Essential to his compositional process is the intuitive musical progression through a phrase-by-phrase approach, expanding and contracting phrasal durations while thickening and scattering the density of both its rhythmical and textural profiles. The elements of surprise and freshness within the musical narrative are prioritized, avoiding any sense of long formal linearities, resulting in structurally complex trajectories with sudden tempo modulations and abrupt intra-sectional changes, amplifying the parameter of dramaturgy.

Theocharis has developed a serious commitment towards electronic music, integrating an electronic component upon this delicate, friable context to more fully blend and expand the acoustic sound. The interest in electronics is related primarily to live signal processing  and incorporating prerecorded synthesized sounds with a particular focus on granular synthesis, which is to be related to and compatible with the philosophy and character of the instrumental writing. The electronics merge with the instrumental sonic landscapes, extract their most important elements (pitch/gestural behaviors), highlight them, or, in other cases, contradict them through extreme live manipulation or by playing back sound files with opposing textures. There is a strive for a wide, thick, and intricate sonic spectrum in which processed, fixed, and acoustic sounds mix and contrast, equally contributing to the outcome.


His current composition projects include a work for piano, fixed media, live electronics and sound diffusion, a work for amplified percussion instruments and found objects, a work for double-bass and fixed media, and a chamber ensemble work with 3D electronics. All four will be presented as part of his dissertation defense scheduled for the end of Spring 2020.

Theocharis Papatrechas is a Greek composer, born in 1988, currently a PhD candidate in composition at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) under the supervision of Rand Steiger.

He holds degrees in composition from the Ionian University (Bachelor’s) and the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester (Master’s). In 2010-11, he attended the composition program at the Sibelius Academy as part of the Erasmus program. For his studies, Theocharis has received scholarships from the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, and the Onassis, Lilian Voudouri, Samuel Adler and Gerondelis Foundations.


Theocharis has participated in several renowned international composition venues and master-classes such as ManiFeste l’Academie 2018 & 2019 at IRCAM with ensemble Intercontemporain, FORUM with Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, SEAMUS, ICMC-NYCEMF, Shanghai New Music Week with Mivos Quartet, Workshop for Young Composers in Tchaikovsky City with Moscow Contemporary Music Players, Etchings Festival with East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, IDEA Young Composers Workshop with Divertimento ensemble, receiving instruction from Chaya Czernowin, Georg Friedrich Haas, Brian Ferneyhough, Rebecca Saunders, Philippe Leroux, Franck Bedrossian, Stefano Gervasoni, Beat Furrer, and Fred Ledahl.

Theocharis's music is published by Babel Scores.


Grit (2019)

[Dimitris Paganos Koukakis]

for piano, fixed media, live electronics, and sound diffusion


Pictorial Fields: Traces in 1A (2016)

[the Switch~ Ensemble]

for bass clarinet, violin, cello, and live electronics


doomed to its paralysed eternity (2015-16)

[ensemble Suono Giallo]

for alto flute, tenor sax, percussion, piano



l'esprit de l'escalier (2014) - excerpt

[Nouvel Ensemble Moderne]

for chamber orchestra

Trastono (2013)

[East Coast Contemporary Ensemble]

for flute, clarinet, percussion, violin, cello


Le Radeau de la Méduse (2012)

[Mivos Quartet]

for string quartet