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Nathaniel Stookey

Born: 1970

Nationality: American

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Photo © Ole Lütjens, 2011


First commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony at age 17, Nathaniel Stookey has gone on to collaborate with many of the world's great orchestras, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Manchester's venerable Hallé: Orchestra, where he was composer-in-residence under Kent Nagano. Stookey's concerto for two violins and strings, Double, was commissioned to represent the year 1999 in the millennial Festival of 999 Years of Music in Sheffield, England, and has since been released on Albany records. In 2006, the San Francisco Symphony commissioned, premiered, and recorded The Composer Is Dead, a sinister guide to the orchestra with narration by Lemony Snicket. "Having created a furor in the United States" ( Hamburger Abendblatt ), the work has since been performed by over 100 orchestras on four continents, and according to BBC commentator Norman Lebrecht, is one of the five most performed classical works of the 21st century, worldwide. His latest orchestral work, Mahlerwerk, commissioned by NDR-Sinfonie (Hamburg) for the final concert of their centennial Mahler cycle, was premiered under Christoph Eschenbach before an audience of 10,000. The Schleswig-Holsteiner Zeitung describes this "crazy puzzle" as an "intelligent, musically very appealing, even exhilarating homage to Gustav Mahler." Stookey's most recent work, String Quartet No. 3 'The Mezzanine' — commissioned and premiered by the Kronos Quartet in 2013 — received critical acclaim for its "wealth of puckish inventions, including an offbeat rhythmic groove that morphs into a tenderly sardonic waltz, and a slow hymn whose harmonies grow and expand in surprising directions" ( San Francisco Chronicle ).
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