Steven Mackey was born in 1956, to American parents stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. He is regarded as one of the leading composers of his generation and has composed for orchestra, chamber ensembles, dance and opera. His first musical passion was playing the electric guitar in rock bands based in northern California. He blazed a trail in the 1980's and 90's by including the electric guitar and vernacular music influence in his concert music and he regularly performs his own work, including two electric guitar concertos and numerous solo and chamber works. He is also active as an improvising musician and performs with his band Big Farm.
B.A. University of California at Davis
M.A. State University of New York at Stony Brook
PhD. Brandeis University
Recognition & Awards
Named Composer in Residence at Curtis Institute of Music 2014-15.
“Roger D Moore” Medal in Music Composition from University of Toronto (January 2013).
Grammy Award from the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (2012) for Lonely Motel: Music From Slide
Dreamhouse nominated for 4 Grammy awards including Best Classical Album (2010)
Award in music composition from the American Academy and Institute for Arts and Letters, May 2011.
Chosen to curate a day of music for the grand opening of new music studios for BBC radio in Manchester England June 2011.
Citation for Distinguished Achievement in Chamber Music, awarded by Broadcast Music Inc. at the 2002 National Conference of Chamber Music America
Creative Arts Achievement Award from the Miami Performing Arts Center. Other
Honorees included soprano Roberta Peters and choreographer Paul Taylor, 2000.
Elise L. Stoeger Award for Chamber Music from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center 1995
Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, 1993 & 1987
Princeton University Distinguished Teaching Award (first time awarded), 1991
International Rostrum of Composers selected Indigenous Instruments to represent the U.S. at Paris Meeting, 1990
Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, 1989
National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, 1989
New Jersey State Arts Council Fellowship, 1989
Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award, University of California at Davis, 1987
Guggenheim Fellowship, 1986