The music of American composer Steve Antosca integrates instruments with computers for real-time processing and pre-recorded audio processing and spatialization. Through the realization of scores which juxtapose elements of non-determinacy with traditional notation, musicians craft a sonically rich performance environment.
Steve Antosca is Artistic Director and composer member of the highly regarded VERGE ensemble, modern music ensemble in residence at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The Washington Post wrote, the ensemble puts “modern classical music in front of the public with more dedication and skill than any other group in Washington” and “a power hitter on Washington's modest contemporary music scene, … a national presence.” As Artistic Director of VERGE ensemble, Antosca was awarded an NEA grant in 2007 to present a festival of contemporary American and French music in Washington.
In 2010, after years of collaboration with the National Gallery of Art, Antosca was invited to form the National Gallery of Art New Music Ensemble and was named the Artistic Director.
Among his numerous commissions and awards are a McKim commission from the Library of Congress and a Fromm Fund commission from Harvard. For the McKim, he composed kairos ~ time outside of time for violin, harpsichord and computer in celebration of Elliott Carter’s 100th birthday. kairos was premiered on December 11, 2008, Mr. Carter’s birthday, at the Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium. For the Fromm, he is composing elements ≃ five transfigurations for cello and computer. His work, chamber set ~ threads for ensemble and computer was premiered at the prestigious new music festival June in Buffalo 2009. It was supported by a Subito grant, funded by the Argosy Foundation Contemporary Music Fund and the American Composers Forum. He was recently commissioned by the NO EXIT ensemble to compose EXIT for piano quartet and computer.
Antosca presented a concert at the National Gallery of Art in March 2011 in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the West Building. He premiered in every way I remember you for saxophone and computer, and echoic landscape for conducted electronics, percussion and computer. This pair of works is titled echo::MEMORY. The event was described by the Washington Post as “a spectacular, wonderfully provocative ” concert, with the Rotunda of the Gallery transformed into “an immense temple of sound, presenting a program of theatrical new works that married humans with computers, and ancient myths with contemporary aesthetics.”
Past commissions include a work for dance, computer-processed audio and text, premiered in September 2002 at the Kennedy Center as part of their Local Dance Commissioning Project (revised as such a pure force). A commission for pianist Laurie Hudicek for traces of spirit whispers, for piano and computer-processed audio, was premiered at the Kennedy Center in September 2003. In 2006, he was commissioned by the Johansen International Competition to create a work for young violin, viola and ‘cello virtuosi.
One becomes Two, premiered by violinist Lina Bahn at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC in March 2007, was described by the Washington Post as being “performed with knowing sensitivity by Bahn, her violin plugged into Antosca's laptop, her fiddle generating ambient electronically controlled responses that were repeated or transformed into vaporous, liquid reflections of her sound.” One becomes Two had its European premiere in Paris by Ms. Bahn at the Festival de musique Américaine in May 2007 and has been performed throughout the US, Europe and in China. One becomes Two was performed in New York in 2009 by Mari Kimura as a featured recital at the first New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF) and in the Atrium of I. M. Pei’s National Gallery of Art East Building at the 2010 CHANGES:seasons concert. In 2009, One becomes Two was a selected winner in the "Electroacoustic Music with Instruments" category of the 36th Bourges International Competitions and was performed as part of the International ElectroAcoustic Music Festival in Rome. A graphic page from the score was published in Notations 21, an anthology of illustrated contemporary scores.
In March 2007 the National Gallery of Art presented a concert of Antosca’s music and John Cage’s in conjunction with the Gallery’s exhibit Jasper Johns: An Allegory of Painting 1955 - 1965. In January 2001, Antosca produced the “Exploring the American Piano” concert for the Smithsonian’s Piano 300 Exhibition, celebrating 300 years of the piano. He premiered his work invisible landscape for piano and conducted electronics, described by the Washington Post as “the highlight of the evening”.
His music has been performed throughout Europe at festivals and concerts. His work such a pure force was presented at the first edition of the International Electroacoustic Music Festival of the Conservatory of St. Cecilia in Rome in November 2008. His compositions have been presented at all subsequent EMUfest concerts. During the 2008-2009 season, Antosca was part of the Cleveland Contemporary Players concert series at Cleveland State University with VERGE ensemble. VERGE has appeared as an ensemble in residence at June in Buffalo 2009 and In 2011 at the University of Virginia. In New York, he has appeared at The Stone, the Issue Project Room, and le poisson rouge with VERGE ensemble.
For the 2011/2012 season, he will be a guest composer at the UMBC LIVEWIRE2 Festival, the University of Richmond Third Practice Festival, the International Electroacoustic Music Festival of the Conservatory of St. Cecilia in Rome and with NGA nme as part of the Andy Warhol Exhibition at the National Gallery of Art.
Antosca has been guest composer at the Southeastern Composer’s League 1997 Festival of New Music and at Radford University’s New Horizons 2002 and 2005 festivals and has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Antosca has worked with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian to present landmark concerts of new music by Native American composers for their Classical Native festivals in 2006 and 2007.
Antosca has lectured on music and music technology trends at universities and cultural institutions throughout the United States, and in Mexico. As part of crossingPoint, his series of collaborative projects in Washington, Antosca received a Meet the Composer grant for his lectures on composition and performance with music technology, at Peabody Conservatory, the University of Maryland, American University, the Library of Congress Whittall Pavilion, the University of California-DC, and the National Gallery of Art.
In December 2008, he presented a lecture on his McKim commission at the Library of Congress Whittall Pavilion. He has lectured on contemporary music at the Hirshhorn Gallery and was among a select group of artists asked to participate in the Inspiration Gallery of the Sargent and the Sea exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. His work shadowland is represented in the MIT publication The Csound Book. He has been a guest lecturer at the Escuela Superior de Musica in Mexico City and has been a regular guest lecturer at the University of Maryland as part of their College Park Scholars program, including a colloquium on his music in November 2008. In October 2008, Antosca presented a lecture on his music at Cleveland State University and Antosca has been the subject of a radio interview with New Music Studio and NewMusicBox.
Antosca has a Master’s degree in Computer Music Composition from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. He lives and teaches in the Washington, DC area. He has been on the faculty of George Mason University, where he was Adjunct Assistant Professor of Composition. He has received numerous grants for teaching technology, including a three year award from the US Department of Education for a music technology teacher education program.
His website is http://www.steveantosca.com.