Steven Stucky died of brain cancer on Sunday at his home in Ithaca, N.Y. at the far too early age of 66. Steve was a respected conductor, teacher and author and served also as a mentor composer for ACO’s 2012 Underwood New Music Readings.
Stucky’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Second Concerto for Orchestra was commissioned and premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2004. Steve was a trailblazer in his role as composer in residence beginning at the Los Angeles Philharmonic for more than 20 years. He went on to similar posts with many other orchestras and festivals, all while teaching at Cornell University for 34 years. Steve received numerous commissions and his music has been programmed all over the world. His presence as one of the great American contemporary composers, mentors and teachers will be sorely missed.
Michael Geller writes:
Steve was the warmest, most supportive, knowledgeable, and generous of colleagues. He cared deeply about the craft of composition and its practitioners. Perhaps more than any other composer I (we) have known, Steve felt a responsibility to the art, to his place in the grand sweep of music from past to present; and he took that responsibility very seriously in his own music–which includes some of the finest, most stunningly wrought works to be created in the last 25 years. That legacy carries on in the many colleagues and students who carry the many lessons we learned from Steve over the years.