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Harry Stafylakis

New York, NY            

New York City-based composer Harry Stafylakis (b. 1982) hails from Montreal, Canada. “Dreamy yet rhythmic” (NY Times), with a “terrible luminosity” and “ferociously expressive” (Times Colonist), his concert music is “an amalgamation of the classical music tradition and the soul and grime of heavy metal” (I Care If You Listen). 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 the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Composer-In-Residence and Co-Curator of the WSO’s Winnipeg New Music Festival. His works have been performed by the Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Victoria, PEI, Spokane, Stamford, FSU, and Greek Youth Symphony Orchestras, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra, McGill Chamber Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, ICE, Contemporaneous, Mivos Quartet, Quatuor Bozzini, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Nouveau Classical Project, ensemble mise-en, Standing Wave, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Cygnus Ensemble, Ensemble 212, Alea III, Lorelei Ensemble, Architek Percussion, Norrbotten NEO, and American Modern Ensemble. His works have been featured at the NY Philharmonic Biennial, Aspen Music Festival, Winnipeg New Music Festival, and the Montreal International Classical Guitar Festival, among others. 

 His music has been recognized with 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, New York State Council on the Arts, and New Music USA. He serves on the board of directors of GroundSwell (Winnipeg) and the interdisciplinary curatorial panel of I-Park Foundation (CT), is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre, and a founding member of the NYC composer collective ICEBERG New Music.

Upcoming projects include new works for the Winnipeg Symphony, Roomful of Teeth, Hard Rubber Orchestra, Contemporaneous, Periapsis Music and Dance, Cowan–Cicchillitti guitar duo, and pianist Jenny Lin. In 2018–19, he will also be collaborating with progressive metal pioneers Animals As Leaders on adaptations of their music for metal band & orchestra.

Stafylakis holds degrees from McGill University and The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). He 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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String Quartet No. 4, “Aftermath” (2018)

I. Shock
II. Awe
III. Renewal

Performed live by Mivos Quartet at Tenri Cultural Institute, NYC.

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Holocene Extinction (2017) for orchestra

I. Eden
II. Arrival
III. Threnody
IV. Hammerfall

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NewMusicBox Articles

Articles January 16 2019 | By Harry Stafylakis
A Musical Oasis in an Icefield

I was expecting something cool but fairly low-key. This isn’t New York or LA, after all; Winnipeg is only the 7th most populous city in Canada (which has one tenth...