Biography

Steven Serpa is a composer whose music has won recognition across the United States, Canada and Europe. His An Invocation, for oboe and string orchestra, was premiered by the Austin Symphony Orchestra in their 2015-2016 season and recently performed in a version for soprano saxophone on the TreeFalls new music series in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Recent chamber commissions include a violin/harp duo shadow-list songs, for Rhode Island-based concert series Providence Premieres, and Salat: Five Meditation for prize-winning guitarist Igor Dedusenko. Thyrsis & Amaranth, his one-act opera based on a fable by Jean de la Fontaine, was premiered by Hartford Opera Theater in 2011 and has been produced every year since. Productions include Halifax Summer Opera, NanoWorks Opera in Cincinnati, One Ounce Opera in Austin, and R-S Theatrics in St. Louis. Critics have called the opera “truly beautiful… a magnificent little story jammed full of thought and feeling and meaning” with “gorgeous music and wrenching lyrics.” Steven was recently recognized for his “outstanding choral writing” as the winner of the Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble’s annual Emerging Composers Competition and was named a finalist for the American Prize in Choral Composition. His choral cantata Heaven’s Birds: Lament and Song was written in collaboration with North Carolina poet Jeffery Beam to commemorate World AIDS Day for a benefit concert for the AIDS Action Committee of Boston. His choral works have been commissioned and performed by groups across the United State, in New York, Boston, Seattle, and Austin. Steven has recently collaborated on solo vocal works with singers from Austin Opera. These include a cycle on poems by Mexican poet Cecilia Castillo Canciónes de desamor, another set of Jeffery Beam poetry in The Creatures: A Bestiary Retold, and a civil rights monologue based on the writing of Mildred Loving titled And Loving for All.

Steven Serpa earned master’s degrees in music composition from the Hartt School of the University of Hartford and in early music performance from Longy School of Music, along with bachelor’s degrees in vocal performance and musicology from the University of Rhode Island. He has studied with composers Tom Cipullo in New York, Larry Alan Smith and Stephen Gryč at the Hartt School, and with Donald Grantham, Yevgeniy Sharlat, and Dan Welcher at the Butler School of Music of the University of Texas at Austin where he is currently a doctoral candidate.