Composer Steven Stucky was the recipient of numerous commissions from orchestras, performing groups, individuals, and foundations both at home and abroad.

Mr. Stucky's extensive catalogue of compositions ranges from large-scale orchestral works, including the Second Concerto for Orchestra, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, to a cappella miniatures for chorus, an eight-minute work for five percussionists, solo piano pieces, and music for such ensembles as piano quartet, string quartet, wind quintet, voice and piano, and saxophone and piano. He was also active as a conductor, writer, lecturer, and teacher, and for 20 years pursued the longest-standing relationship between a composer and an American orchestra: In 1988, André Previn appointed him Composer in Residence of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and he continued on to the position of LAP's Consulting Composer for New Music, working closely with Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen on contemporary programming, the awarding of commissions, educational projects for school children, and programming for nontraditional audiences.

The composer was host of the New York Philharmonic's acclaimed "Hear & Now" pre-concert programs, introducing important works and premieres to Philharmonic audiences. Steven Stucky's Cradle Songs and Whispers were commissioned and recorded by Chanticleer, the San Francisco-based male a cappella choir. The two discs were Billboard-charting bestsellers, and won Grammy awards. The numerous other recordings in 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.

As an active teacher and mentor to young composers, Steven Stucky sat on the Warsaw jury of the Witold Lutoslawski Competition for Composers. He was a world-renowned expert on the late composer's music and the recipient of the Lutoslawski Society's medal. He participated in residencies at the American Academy in Rome, Princeton University's Composition Colloquium, James Madison University, and Grinnell College.

Steven Stucky was Composer in Residence of the Aspen Music Festival and School in 2001 and director of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble in 2005. He was Chairman of the Board of the American Music Center, and was the first annual Barr Institute Composer Laureate at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Among his other honors were a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Bogliasco Fellowship, the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 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 taught at Cornell University, where he chaired the Music Department from 1992 to 1997 and served as Given Foundation Professor of Composition. He also held the positions of Visiting Professor of Composition at the Eastman School of Music and Ernest Bloch Professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Born November 7, 1949, in Hutchinson, Kansas, Mr. Stucky was raised in Kansas and Texas. He studied at Baylor and Cornell Universities with Richard Willis, Robert Palmer, Karel Husa, and Burrill Phillips. He passed away on February 14, 2016 at his home in Ithaca, NY.


Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | October 8, 2016
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | March 28, 2014
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | May 28, 2010

News and Press

[Concert Review] BMOP's connections elucidated

Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s 15th annual “Boston ConNECtion” concert at Jordan Hall on March 28th was, as you can adduce by reading BMInt’s interview with composer Donald Crockett here, is a bit of a stretch programmatically, as only two of the four composers whose works were presented (the two youngest, as it happened) have or had anything like a significant association with New England Conservatory, and only one of them currently resides in the area.

The Boston Musical Intelligencer Full review
[Concert Review] BMOP offers a riveting, rhapsodic Lei Liang premiere

During China’s Cultural Revolution, one of the world’s oldest civilizations tore itself apart. The estimated 70 million deaths that resulted have touched the lives of just about everyone in the country and many around the world.

One story from China’s remote Xiaoxiang region tells of a widow who avenges the death of her husband by tormenting his killer, a local communist official. Devoid of any legal means of seeking justice, she sat in the forest behind the official’s house every night for months and wailed like a ghost. Both went insane.

Boston Classical Review Full review
[Concert Review] Classical Music Review: Boston Modern Orchestra Project

The Jordan Hall stage was crammed full of seventy players for the season’s final concert by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) on May 28. Under its artistic director Gil Rose, we heard music by five composers, the earliest dating from 1989. For two works the distinguished baritone Sanford Sylvan (b. 1953) was the soloist.

The Arts Fuse Full review
[Concert Review] BMOP's feast of new music

After giving each orchestra section a spotlight concert this season, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and artistic director Gil Rose brought a full symphonic complement to Jordan Hall on Friday, with a program to match: five canvases of splashy instrumentation. The complement was in fine form indeed, zealous and bold. New-music advocacy doesn’t get more luxurious.

The Boston Globe Full review
[Concert Review] BMOP proves that new music can be moving

On Friday, May 28, in Jordan Hall, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, a.k.a. BMOP, presented its last concert of the season -— five works composed in the past 25 years, two of which featured the great baritone Sanford Sylvan. BMOP’s past season had featured concerts showcasing groups within the orchestra (strings in “Strings Attached,” percussion and keyboards in the “Big Bang” concert, winds in “Band in Boston”). For this concert, deploying the full orchestra, BMOP presented works by four living composers, all in attendance, and Orchestra Piece by Leon Kirchner, who died last fall.

The Boston Musical Intelligencer Full review
[Concert Review] Stylus reviews Full Score

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project commissions, performs, and records music of the twentieth and twenty first centuries exclusively, allowing listeners to hear full-sized orchestral performances of modern compositions, previously performed more typically by small groups like the Kronos Quartet and the Chameleon Arts Ensemble.

Stylus Full review
[Press Release] BMOP presents Full Score

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the nation's leading orchestra dedicated exclusively to performing, commissioning, and recording new music, will present its final concert of the 2009-10 season, Full Score, at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall (30 Gainsborough Street), on Friday, May 28 at 8:00pm. After three instrument-centric performances ("Big Bang" for percussion, "Band in Boston" for winds, and "Strings Attached" for strings), the BMOP season will culminate with a full orchestral program uniting over 70 musicians and guest baritone Sanford Sylvan.

Full review