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Steven Rice

Assistant Professor
Portrait of Steven Rice, photo credit Joshua Roberts.
214A Music I

Dr. Steven Rice has been appointed Assistant Professor of Music Technology & Composition in the Penn State School of Music. Described as “evocative” (Resonance) and “surreal” music “to bewilder, amuse, and provoke” (Epoch Times), the works of Dr. Rice have won great acclaim and inspired intense debate. His music has been championed internationally by soloists and ensembles such as the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra (Marin Alsop, director), the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Brave New Works, and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble.

Active in the production and performance of electronic music, Dr. Rice served as an audio engineer and technician for the Eastman Computer Music Center and in this capacity produced and performed works with musicians as divers as ensemble eighth blackbird, composer Tristan Murail, and the avant-garde jazz Cuong Vu Trio. For his own electronic music, he has installed electronics into the high towers of carillons (Zimbelstern, with Tiffany Ng) and dragged equipment into the depths of old churches (Praetorius Ear with Randall Harlow). His On the Floodis of Babiloyne has been performed internationally by saxophonists.

“It is such an honor to join faculty at Penn State that I admire,” said Dr. Rice. “I eagerly anticipate what musics and discoveries the students and I will make together.”

Rice’s dramatic works for voice have attracted particular attention; his Murmurs from Limbo for vocal soloists and ensemble took 1st Prize in the 2005 Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award and Wake Nicodemus for tenor soloist and sinfonietta received a 2009 ASCAP/Morton Gould Young Composer Award. The committee for the Tyler Youth Orchestra’s New Music Project described Rice’s Amazing Grace and Wake Nicodemus as “genuinely original, fresh, and socially conscious.” Rice holds a Ph.D. in composition from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied as a Raymond N. Ball Fellow under Robert Morris, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, and Allan Schindler.

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