Steven Mackey


Threshold Music Project

Steven Mackey, a Grammy Award winner lauded by Gramophone for his “explosive and ethereal imagination,” is one of the leading composers of his generation, with compositions ranging from orchestral and chamber music to opera. Born in 1956 to American parents stationed in Frankfurt, Germany, his first musical passion was playing the electric guitar in rock bands based in northern California. He blazed a trail in the 1980s and ‘90s by including the electric guitar and vernacular music influences in his classical concert music. He regularly performs his own work. Active as an improvising musician, he performs regularly with his band Big Farm.

There are a dozen CDs devoted exclusively to Mackey’s music and many others that contain individual works. With awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Stoeger Prize from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, Mackey has also been the composer-in-residence at Tanglewood, Aspen and the Holland Festival. He is the William Shubael Conant Professor of Music and former chair of the Department of Music at Princeton University, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1985. He and Kirkland Snider live in Princeton, New Jersey with their son, Jasper, and their daughter, Dylan.

Mackey’s music is published by Boosey & Hawkes. In addition to two solo marimba works, "See Ya Thursday" (dedicated to Zeltsman and recorded by both Zeltsman and Fadoul) and "Beast," Mackey has composed numerous chamber works and two concerti for percussion. | Instagram: @steven_mackey | Twitter: @mackeysteven

Piece commissioned by Threshold Music Project: TBA | Anticipated: March 2021 | Length: 5-10 min.

I am thrilled to be part of the Threshold project. Nancy and I have collaborated on many things over the past 30 years and anything she takes on is always superbly produced. I’m equally excited about working with Paul whose past performances of my music promise nearly unlimited possibilities for this new work.

Working with the malletSTATION will be inspiring. As a guitarist used to a chain of processes from physical actions through signal processing to a musical result, this project has a good blend of new challenge and familiar experience.

– Steven Mackey

Coming soon:

Collaboration video | Performance video | Program note | Score availability | Performance notes

Copyright 2021 Nancy Zeltsman