Steven Stucky

Steven Stucky (1949-2016) is among the most known and renowned American composers. A laureate of the Pulitzer Prize for the Concerto for Orchestra no. 2 (2005), he is member of the American Academy in Rome, director of New Music USA, member of the board of The Koussevitzky Music Foundations and member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A valued pedagogue, professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Eastman School of Music, he also is active as conductor, teacher, and writer on music.

Steven Stucky is one of the greatest authorities on the musical output of Witold Lutosławski, and the author of a valuable monograph titled Lutosławski and His Music (Cambridge 1981), recognized with the prestigious ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. His achievements in this field also won him the Gold Medal of the Witold Lutosławski Society in Warsaw. As a valued expert and mentor to the young generation of composers, he was appointed jury member of the Witold Lutosławski Composition Competition organized by the Witold Lutosławski Society.

In 2013 he was made artistic consultant and co-author of the program for the Lutosławski Centennial celebrations, organized by Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra in London.

Among the greatest compositional achievements of Steven Stucky in recent years one must mention the four-movement Symphony (2012), commissioned and premiered by two leading American orchestras: the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel and the New York Philharmonic lead by Alan Gilbert. Other significant presentations of his compositions included, among others, the performance of Rhapsodies (2008) by the New York Philharmonic at the festival BBC Proms in London and The Chamber Concerto (2010) by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Steven Stucky accepts compositional commissions from world-renowned soloists and orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Camerata Bern, the percussionist Evelyn Glennie, pianists Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman, as well as the recorder player Michala Petri.

The 2012/2013 season will bring the world premiere of an orchestral song cycle by Stucky, titled The Stars and the Roses (2012), the cycle Say Thou Dost Love Me (2012) for a cappella choir and the piece Take Him, Earth (2012), composed to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. Other important events of the season underway include the performance of the symphonic poem Silent Spring (2011) during the European tour of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, where Stucky filled the post of composer for the 2011/2012 season. In that season he was appointed Music Alive Composer-in-Residence at the Berkeley Symphony, while in the spring of 2013 he begins a period of residence at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

In a period of over 20 years Steven Stucky has regularly worked with the Philharmonic Orchestra in Los Angeles. Sir Andre Previn appointed him the composer-in-residence of the orchestra in 1988, while in the succeeding years he was active as orchestra consultant in matters pertaining to new music, taking active part in the programming of concert seasons by Esa-Pekka Salonen. With young composers in mind he created the Composer Fellowship Program attached to the orchestra.

Steven Stucky devotes a great amount of time to didactic work. He is also actively engaged in the popularization of contemporary music. In the recent seasons he was author of the valued cycle of talks titled Hear & Now, which accompanied the presentations of new compositions by the New York Philharmonic, and in parallel to this he develops his conducting activity. He leads, among others, the Ensemble X, a group he founded in 1997 in Los Angeles and which specialized in the performance of contemporary works, including those by William Craft, Christoph Rouse, Judith Weir, and Witold Lutosławski.

rs / trans. mk