Steven Christopher Sacco
Composer - Performer - Educator
The American composer Steven Christopher Sacco was born in the gritty Brooklyn of My Cousin Vinny’s Joe Pesci. This was not the sought-after gentrified double stroller organic cotton sustainable straw artisanal condiment farm-to-fork oat milk latte sipping non-smoking plant-based discerning consumers’ Brooklyn of today.
After Sacco’s mother died, his father remarried and started over in central New Jersey. It didn’t go well.
His musical talent was not nurtured at home or at school, but rather stunted. His unrecognized gift for music suffered greatly during this time. Despite the many personal traumas during his adolescence, Sacco persevered and states, “my love of music was my ticket out.”
Dr. Sacco is a proud high school dropout.
His early life presented a tough row to hoe, with bouts of food insecurity and homelessness, but he persevered. His work is performed internationally by some of today’s leading soloists and ensembles. Critics praise him for writing “absorbing, poetic and passionate music that easily engages the sympathies and attention of a concert audience,” and that his music is “gorgeous, brilliant,” and “magical, some of the most ravishing music of our time.” His artistic collaborators have included American Brass Quintet, Luciano Berio, Kevin Cobb, Steven Isserlis, Czech Nonet, Juliana Gondek, Raymond Mase, David Oei, Adela Pena, Antoinette Perry, The United States Army Band, "Pershing's Own," Michael Powell, John D. Rojak, Eriko Sato, and Speculum Musicae, among others. Sacco’s work has been performed on tours in Australia, Asia, Europe, North and South America, as well as the music festivals of Aspen, Tanglewood, Bowdoin, Deal (UK) and IIMF (Italy).
Sacco has been generously supported by The Arts and Letters Foundation, The Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, The Corporation of Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony Inc., The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Juilliard School, Princeton and Columbia Universities, among others.
A composition and theory faculty member and past department co-chair at the Mannes College of Music Prep, he formerly taught at Rutgers University, Newark and at the State University of New York, at Purchase, as well as the Universities of Columbia and Princeton.
Steven Sacco's music is published by ACA-American Composers Edition and Hickman Music Editions. Recordings are available on the Summit, Navona and USA Made record labels. He holds a doctorate from Columbia University, a M.F.A. from Princeton University, and bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School. He resides with his wife and dogs in New York.
AT THE REQUEST OF THE ARTIST, PLEASE DO NOT ALTER THIS BIOGRAPHY WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL.
March 1st 2023
"Highly mature work....thoroughly captivating" International Trumpet Guild Journal
"With its lyrical melodies, tonal and colorful harmonies, and serious introspection punctuated by wit, whimsy and sparkle, Sacco's work should become a repertory favorite".
-American Record Guide 2007, review of American Brass Quintet CD, Jewels.
- Aspen Times 2007, review of the premiere of Sonata for Bass Trombone and Piano, performed by John Rojak and An Perry at the Aspen Music festival
"Delightful...[a] kind of musical aperitif that whets the appetite for what was to come".
-The Buffalo News 2007, review of Little Suite of Miniatures.
"Attractive and engaging...Sacco’s music highlighted refreshing tonal language and organic motivic writing".
-International Trumpet Guild (2004)
"Perky, jazzy...highly listenable music"
-Aspen Times 2004, review of the premiere of Quintet for brass, American Brass Quintet at the Aspen Music Festival.
"Powerful work, combining lyricism and drama"...
-Kent Mercury, UK 2001, review of the premiere of Fantasy for unaccompanied cello performed by Steven Isserlis at the Deal Summer Music Festival, UK.
"Absorbing, poetic and passionate"
-The Sandpiper 1996