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Nathaniel Stookey

San Francisco, CA      

First commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony at age 17, Nathaniel Stookey has collaborated with many of the world’s great orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, The National Symphony, The Toronto Symphony, The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and The Hallé Orchestra, where Stookey was composer-in-residence under Kent Nagano.

Stookey’s concerto for two violins and strings, Double, was commissioned for violinist Peter Cropper to represent the year 1999 in the millennial Festival of 999 Years of Music in Sheffield, England. From 2000-3, he was composer-in-residence with the North Carolina Symphony and Artistic Director of WUNC-FM’s Composers-in-Context Series. 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, which has been performed by hundreds of orchestras worldwide and cited as one of the five most performed works of the 21st century. In 2007, Stookey created Junkestra, which was perfomed in warehouses and public squares before being taken up by major classical presenters.  Stookey’s Mahlerwerk (2011), commissioned by NDR-Elbphilharmonie (formerly NDR-Sinfonie, Hamburg), was premiered under Christoph Eschenbach before an audience of ten thousand people as part of the centennial Mahler in Hamburg Festival. Stookey’s String Quartet No. 3 ‘The Mezzanine‘ was commissioned and premiered by Kronos Quartet in 2013 and featured as part of Stookey’s 2015 residency with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.  April 2016 marked the premiere of Yield To Total Elation at San Francisco Symphony’s SoundBox, for which Stookey was one of the inaugural curators.

As a composer of vocal and theatrical music, Stookey’s work has received considerable acclaim for innovation and emotional immediacy. Frederica von Stade kicked off her 2009 farewell tour with Stookey’s setting of her personal texts Into the Bright Lights. The following year he scored John Doyle’s production of Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle for ACT San Francisco. Stookey’s monodrama Ivonne (2014) for soprano and trio was commissioned and premiered by Opera Memphis for the “Ghosts of Crosstown” project. In Spring 2017,  Sh-K-Boom Records releases a recording of Zipperz for two pop singers and orchestra performed by The Magik*Magik Orchestra, with Manoel Felciano and Robin Coomer.