Biography

Steven Serpa is a composer whose music has won recognition across the United States and Canada. His An Invocation, for oboe and string orchestra, was premiered by the Austin Symphony Orchestra in their 2015-2016 season and has since been taken up by soloists with the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra, the TreeFalls new music, and the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle. Steven’s one-act opera Thyrsis & Amaranth was premiered by Hartford Opera Theater and is described by critics as “a powerfully emotional contemporary opera,” “truly beautiful… a magnificent little story jammed full of thought and feeling and meaning” with “gorgeous music and wrenching lyrics.” It has been produced in Halifax, Cincinnati, Austin, St. Louis, and recently at Syracuse University. 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 works have been commissioned and performed by groups across the United State, in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Austin. Steven has recently collaborated on solo vocal works with singers from Austin Opera. A song cycle on poetry of Jeffery Beam called The Creatures: A Bestiary Retold, premiered by One Ounce Opera, a civil rights monologue based on the writing of Mildred Loving titled And Loving for All for the ensembles Pale Blue., and a cycle on poems by Mexican poet Cecilia Castillo Canciónes de desamor, which after its Austin premiere, has been performed at the Source Song Festival in Minneapolis, in Chicago produced by Ross Crean Presents, and in a new version for voice and chamber ensemble by Juventas New Music in Boston. Current projects include james (book of ruth), an oratorio tackling HIV stigma being premiered next season by Austin Cantorum and Urlicht Fantasy, a concertante work for solo horn and chamber orchestra  for the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra.

Steven Serpa earned a doctorate in music composition from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degrees in music composition from the Hartt School of the University of Hartford. 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.