Steven Stucky was a frequently performed American composer of the late 20th and early 21st centuries who was noted especially for the inventiveness of his orchestration.
Born in Kansas and raised in Abilene, TX, Stucky went on to study at Baylor University and Cornell University, where his teachers included Robert Palmer and Karel Husa. He was known especially for his orchestral music, but he also wrote a number of concertos for instruments including cello, guitar, two flutes, percussion, and recorder, as well as music for choir, wind ensemble, and chamber ensemble, and many works for voice and orchestra. His music is widely recorded and is available on labels such as Hyperion, BIS, Teldec, Albany, Bridge, Innova, and CRI. Among his most important works are his first and second concertos for orchestra, Funeral Music for Queen Mary for wind ensemble, and Spirit Voices for percussion and orchestra.
Stucky was active as a conductor and led Ensemble X, an Ithaca-based contemporary music ensemble he founded, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group. He was an internationally recognized authority on Witold Lutoslawski, who was an important compositional influence on his own style, and he was the author of Lutoslawski and His Music (1981), for which he which he won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. Since 1980, he taught at Cornell, where he was Given Foundation Professor of Composition.