R a n d S t e i g e r 


Rand Steiger’s music has been commissioned and performed by many ensembles, including the American Composers Orchestra, Boston Musica Viva, Ensemble Intercontemporain, International Contemporary Ensemble, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, NYNME, Prism Quartet, San Diego Symphony, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Southbank Sinfonia, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Talea Ensemble, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he served as Composer Fellow. Soloists he has composed for include Matthew Barley, Maya Beiser, Claire Chase, Daniel Druckman, Alan Feinberg, George Lewis, Susan Narucki, and Steven Schick.

Throughout his career, Steiger has been deeply involved in computer music research. He has held three residencies at IRCAM, and has enjoyed a long fruitful collaboration with Miller Puckette, the leading computer music researcher of his generation. Steiger is currently Composer-in-Residence at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology.

Many of Steiger’s works combine orchestral instruments with real-time digital audio signal processing and spatialization. They also propose a hybrid approach to just and equal-tempered tuning, exploring the delicate perceptual cusp between a harmony and a timbre that occurs when tones are precisely tuned. Some examples of works deploying these techniques include: Ecosphere, developed during residencies at Ircam and premiered by the Ensemble Intercontemporain at the Centre Pompidou in Paris; Résonateur, composed for the Ensemble Sospeso to commemorate the 80th birthday of Pierre Boulez; Traversing, written for cellist Mathew Barley and the Southbank Sinfonia; and Cryosphere, premiered by the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York.

He is currently working on the Coalescence Cycle, a set of new works for instruments and electronics to be premiered in New York by the International Contemporary Ensemble in 2013, followed by the Earth Cycle for orchestra and electronics to be premiered by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in 2014.

Steiger is also active as a conductor specializing of contemporary works. He has conducted the Arditti Quartet, Aspen Chamber Ensemble, Ensemble Sospeso, La Jolla Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, New York New Music Ensemble, Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain (Switzerland), and the California EAR Unit, of which he was the founding artistic director. Among his recordings as conductor are operas by Hilda Paredes and Anthony Davis, and works by Abrams, Carter, LeBaron, Lewis, Osborn, Reynolds, Stockhausen, Subotnick, Xenakis and Wadada Leo Smith. He has also conducted many premieres, including works of Andriessen, Babbitt, Boulez, Brant, Carter, Ferneyhough, Harvey, Kernis, LeBaron, Newton, Nono, Read-Thomas, Reynolds, Riley, Rudders, Rzewski, Saariaho, Scelsi, Subotnick, Wolfe, Takemitsu, Tavener, and Tuur.

His compositions and performances are recorded on the Centaur, CRI, Crystal, Einstein, EMF, Koch, Mode, New Albion, New Dynamic, New World and Nonesuch labels. A new portrait CD will be released by the Talea Ensemble on New World in 2013.

After serving on the Faculty of California Institute of the Arts from 1982 through 1987, Steiger joined the Music Department at U.C. San Diego. In 2009 he was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University.

(updated 1/12)