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Harry Stafylakis

New York, NY            

Harry Stafylakis (b. 1982, Montreal) is a Canadian–American composer based in New York City. His “dreamy yet rhythmic” (NY Times) concert music strives for dramatic emotional and intellectual expression, integrating idioms drawn from classical and popular styles. With an intimate background in progressive metal and traditional Greek music, Stafylakis has developed a unique conception of musical temporality and rhythm, infusing his compositions with a characteristic vitality and drive. 

Stafylakis is currently serving as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Composer-In-Residence and Festival Director of the WSO’s Winnipeg New Music Festival. His works have been performed by the American Composers Orchestra, the Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Spokane, Stamford, Victoria, and PEI symphony orchestras, McGill Chamber Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, FSU Symphony, ICE, Contemporaneous, Mivos Quartet, Quatuor Bozzini, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Nouveau Classical Project, ensemble mise-en, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Cygnus Ensemble, Ensemble 212, Alea III, Lorelei Ensemble, Architek Percussion, Norrbotten NEO, and American Modern Ensemble. He has been featured at the NY Philharmonic Biennial, Aspen Music Festival, Winnipeg New Music Festival, New Music on the Point, Atlantic Center for the Arts, June In Buffalo, Composers Now, FSU Festival of New Music, Providence Premieres, Aries Composers Festival, SCI, EAMA, York Guitar Festival, Cluster, and the Montreal International Classical Guitar Festival. 

His awards include the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the ASCAP Foundation’s Leonard Bernstein Award, four SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers, and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts. He is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre and a member of the NYC composer collective ICEBERG New Music.

Stafylakis holds a B.Mus. from McGill University, where he studied with Chris Paul Harman, Jean Lesage, and John Rea. He is a doctoral candidate at The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY), where he studied with Jason Eckardt and David Del Tredici, and lectures at the City College of New York. His doctoral research, supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, examines the conception of rhythm and meter in progressive metal. 


Calibrating Friction (2016) for amplified ensemble

Calibrating Friction is a meditation on the complexities of human interaction. The piece takes its cues from musical styles – especially progressive metal – that highlight metrical dissonance (degrees of conflict between perceived rhythmic and metrical layers). The seven members of the ensemble are treated as individual entities whose relative motions continuously shift in and out of phase. As a result, the overall groove and flow of the music fluctuates as internal elements of the ensemble pass between degrees of agreement and conflict.

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Never the Same River (2016) for orchestra

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

Commissioned by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Performed by the Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra, Felix Mildenberger conducting.

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Unrelent (2017) for 6 players

Written for and performed by Contemporaneous and ICEBERG New Music.

“Unrelent” is an expression of the turbulent emotional/psychological state I’ve witnessed around me – and experienced myself – in response to recent political developments in the USA.

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