Biography

Steven Serpa is a composer whose music has won recognition across the United States and Canada. His orchestral and chamber works have been performed by the Austin Symphony Orchestra, the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra, the TreeFalls new music, Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, and others. 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. His choral works have been commissioned and performed by groups across the United States, in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, 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 on the poetry of Jeffery Beam called The Creatures: A Bestiary Retold, and a marriage-rights monologue based on the writing of Mildred Loving titled And Loving for All. Upcoming premieres include the choral oratorio james (book of ruth) tackling the subject of HIV stigma and these wings are meant to fly, a micro-opera responding to the Pulse nightclub shooting, both collaborations with playwright Zac Kline.

 

Steven is a recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin with a doctorate in composition and also holds master’s degrees in composition from the Hartt School of the University of Hartford and vocal/early music performance from Long School of Music. 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 University of Texas. He makes his home in Austin and works as co-director of Fast Forward Austin, producing inventive, forward-looking music experiences for local audiences and communities.