Composer Steven Stucky, whose Second Concerto for Orchestra brought him the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Music, has received commissions from many American orchestras, performing groups, individuals and foundations at home and abroad. The New York Times described the Second Concerto for Orchestra – commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and premiered by the orchestra in Spring, 2004 – as "an electrifying piece ... [that] stands apart from academic disputes about style and language, and strives for direct communication."
Mr. Stucky's extensive variety of works ranges from large-scale orchestral compositions to a cappella choral works, and include solo piano pieces, an eight-minute work for five percussionists, and chamber music for numerous combinations of instruments from piano quartet and string quartet to wind quintet, voice with piano, saxophone with piano, and many more.
Steven Stucky is also active as a conductor, writer, lecturer and teacher. His relationship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic is the longest such association between an American orchestra and a composer. He was appointed Composer in Residence by André Previn in 1988, and is now Consulting Composer for New Music, in which capacity he works closely with Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen on programs and commissions to enhance contemporary programming, award commissions, and develop educational programs for school children; and on programming for non-traditional audiences. This season he will host talks in the LAP's "Green Umbrella" concert series with Marc-André Dalbavie and Leif Ove Andsnes, among others.
Also this season Stucky will host conversations with his colleagues John Corigliano, John Harbison and Peter Lieberson for the New York Philharmonic's "Hear & Now" – informal public encounters with contemporary composers of works programmed by the Philharmonic.
During the 2005-06 season, large-scale compositions by Steven Stucky are being performed by such artists as Marin Alsop and Evelyn Glennie, Leonard Slatkin and the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, Günter Herbig and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jeffrey Kahane and the Colorado Symphony, the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, and the Helsinki Radio Symphony, among others.
Highlights of recent seasons for Steven Stucky were world premieres of Spirit Voices, his percussion concerto for Evelyn Glennie (Singapore, November 2003), Jeu de timbres (Washington, January 2004), and the Second Concerto for Orchestra (Los Angeles, March 2004). In spring 2004 he conducted the first performance of To Whom I Said Farewell – a song cycle with chamber orchestra – in Los Angeles, and Emanuel Ax premiered his Sonate en forme de préludes at Carnegie's Zankel Hall with members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Recent seasons have also seen performances by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony, National Symphony, New World Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Toronto Symphony and numerous others.
Professor Steven Stucky in his studio at Cornell University. © Cornell University. Photo by Nicola Kountoupes, University Photography
Active as a teacher and mentor of young composers, Stucky sits this season on the Warsaw jury of the Witold Lutoslawski Competition for Composers. He is a world-renowned expert on the late composer's music and will receive the Lutoslawski Society medal this season. He will participate in residencies at the American Academy in Rome, James Madison University, and Grinnell College.
Mr. Stucky frequently conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group and Ensemble X, a group for contemporary music he founded in 1997. With the former, he has led the U.S. premiere of his own recorder concerto, Etudes, with Michala Petri, and world and regional premieres by a great many of his contemporaries in the world of new music, among them Donald Crockett, Jacob Druckman, William Kraft, Witold Lutoslawski, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Phibbs and Judith Weir.
Stucky was Composer in Residence of the Aspen Music Festival and School in 2001 and director of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble in 2005, which he conducted in frequent concerts. He is interested in arrangements of composers' works by other composers, and at Aspen he led an unusual arrangement by Arnold Schoenberg of Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer, which was originally created for Vienna's fabled Society for Private Musical Performances. Mr. Stucky will soon serve as the first annual Barr Institute Composer Laureate at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Among his other honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Bogliasco Fellowship, and the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the ASCAP Victor Herbert Prize and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities. His first Concerto for Orchestra was one of two finalists for the 1989 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Mr. Stucky has taught at Cornell University since 1980, chairing the Music Department from 1992 to 1997, and now serves as Given Foundation Professor of Composition. He has been Visiting Professor of Composition at the Eastman School of Music, and Ernest Bloch Professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
Mr. Stucky, born November 7th, 1949, in Hutchinson, Kansas, was raised in Kansas and Texas. He studied at Baylor and Cornell universities with Richard Willis, Robert Palmer, Karel Husa, and Burrill Phillips. He lives in Ithaca, New York, with his wife, violist Melissa Stucky.
Recordings and Grammy' Awards:
Chanticleer, the San Francisco-based male a cappella choir, commissioned Stucky's Cradle Songs and Whispers, and recorded them for Teldec. The two CDs containing these works were Billboard-charting best-sellers and won Grammy awards in 2000 and 2002 respectively. The numerous other recordings in Steven Stucky's discography include Ad Parnassum; Boston Fancies; Fanfares and Arias; Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary (after Purcell); Nell'ombra, nella luce; Partita-Pastorale after J.S. Bach; Sappho Fragments; Serenade for Wind Quintet; Son et lumière; Threnos; and Voyages.
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