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Steven Christopher Sacco
Composer - Performer - Educator
The American composer Steven Sacco was born in Brooklyn, New York. 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.” International tours have seen his work performed in Australia, Asia, Europe and North and South America. Some highlights include:
Recordings of both “Book of Whimsy,” for piano solo and “Music for Two Violins and Piano” will be released in 2017 on USA Made.
John D. Rojak’s, recording of “Sonata,” for bass trombone and piano, with Antoinette Perry appears on his “ROJAK ROCKS” album and was released in 2016 on the Navano record label. Rojak and Perry gave the premiere at the Aspen Music Festival in 2007. Blair Bollinger, bass trombonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, performed the “Sonata,” at the 2016 the International Trombone Festival, at the Juilliard School in New York City. Also in 2016, Michael Powell’s recordings of the “Sonata,” for tenor trombone and piano with the composer at the piano was released by the label USA Made.
In 2014 “Quartets,” for three trombones and bass trombone was given its premiere at the annual Mannes Faculty Composers Series at the Mannes College of Music.
Texas Christian University, hosted a Brass Chamber Music Retrospective Concert and Residency in 2013 which included the premiere of “Imagination Studies”.
The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own," commissioned the "Music in Three Movements for Eight Trumpets" for their mission to the 2010 International Trumpet Guild, in Sydney, Australia. The ensemble gave premieres of the work in both Washington D.C. and Sydney.
Czech Nonet, Europe's oldest and longest continuing performing chamber group, premiered his “Divertimento” on their 2009 American West Coast tour. This piece was only the second American work commissioned by Nonet, the first being from Robert Ward.
The American Brass Quintet premiered Sacco's “Quintet,” for brass at the 2004 Aspen Music Festival. The piece is his most performed work, with ensembles from around the globe touring the work each season. The Quintet is featured on ABQ's album, "Jewels...a selection of concert favorites, recorded on Summit Records by multiple Grammy Award-winning producer Judith Sherman.
In addition, Sacco's “Fantasy,” for unaccompanied cello was commissioned by the Arts and Letters Foundation for the great British cellist, Steven Isserlis. Isserlis performed the EU premiere at the Deal Summer Music Festival in 2001. He subsequently recorded the piece for the soundtrack to the award-winning film, "The Enduring Call," which had its premiere at the Houston WorldFest and had its EU premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival.
Soprano Juliana Gondek gave the premiere of his "Three Songs on Poems by Emily Dickinson" at the 1996 Yaddo summer gala benefit in the music room of the Yaddo mansion with pianist Donald St. Pierre.
Speculum Musicae premiered Sacco's Cello Concerto with cellist Eric Bartlett as soloist in 1995 on a Fritz Reiner Center concert at the Kathryn Bache Miller Theatre.
His "Three Songs on poems of Emily Dickinson" for mezzo soprano and vibraphone was premiered at the Tanglewood Music Festival in 1983.
While a student at Juilliard, Sacco performed one of the 8 Schauspieler roles in the Luciano Berio "Laborintus II" with the Electric Phoenix at the New York Philharmonic Horizons ‘86 festival, under the direction of the composer.
In 2002, Sacco was elected to the Board of Governors of the American Composers Alliance (ACA) and served as board secretary from 2003-2005.
Academic awards include grants from 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, and others.
A composition and theory faculty member and past department co-chair at the Mannes College of Music in New York City, Sacco also teaches at Midland School in New Jersey and has taught at Rutgers University, Newark and at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase.
Steven Sacco's music is published by ACA 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 two children in New Jersey.
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"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