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Robert Maggio

Lambertville, NJ      

Passionate, versatile, and engaging, composer Robert Maggio embraces the collaborative and deeply communicative act of making music. Maggio is equally comfortable composing for a string quartet, chorus, wind ensemble or an orchestra, as he is collaborating on a new musical, a modern ballet, or songs and incidental music for a play.
Hailed as a composer of music that is smart, vital, and inventive, Maggio has created an unusually diverse and substantial body of work. Each project creates a unique connection between Maggio’s wondrously eclectic vocabulary and a wide array of commissions, artist residencies and interdisciplinary collaborations. Lyrical, passionate, melodic, and rhythmically charged, Maggio’s music has been performed on concert stages, in orchestra pits, in school auditoriums, and at arts festivals around the world.
With a firm belief that new music thrives when it takes root in an audience of passionate listeners, Maggio has been an artist in residence for school districts, arts councils, dance companies, community choirs and bands, and professional ensembles. Communities from Long Beach, California to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, have commissioned Maggio to create new compositions that reflect their history, culture and hopes for the future.
A long-time member of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop in New York City, Maggio is currently collaborating on several new musicals, including projects with writers Michael Hollinger, Matthew Hardy, and Amy Buchwald. He has composed songs and incidental music for numerous professional theaters, including productions at Yale Repertory Theater, Philadelphia Theater Company, Peoples Light and Theater Company, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. His music for theater has received several Barrymore Award nominations in Philadelphia, including his scores for The Laramie Project, The Merchant of Venice, M Butterfly, and The Outgoing Tide.
Dance companies across the United States have commissioned Maggio for new scores, including collaborations with Pennsylvania BalletBallet X10 Hairy LegsStephen Pelton Dance TheaterRandy James Dance Works, andLeah Stein and Dancers. He was selected to participate in the month-long Young Choreographers and Composers Program at the American Dance Festival, which resulted in the creation and premiere of Barcarole with choreographer Stephen Pelton.
Orchestras have performed Maggio’s orchestral music across North America, including the Boston PopsAtlanta SymphonyPhiladelphia OrchestraCincinnati Symphony OrchestraLong Beach SymphonyNational Symphony Orchestra of MexicoOakland East Bay SymphonyDallas/Fort Worth SymphonyRiverside SymphoniaNew York Youth SymphonyTampa Bay Youth Orchestra, and numerous university orchestras. His chamber and vocal/choral music has been performed by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York Festival of Song, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival, Borromeo String Quartet, Corigliano Quartet, Serafin String Quartet, Colorado Quartet, baritone Sanford Sylvan, Detroit Chamber Winds, Meridian Arts Ensemble, Composers Inc., Network for New Music, Orchestra 2001 and the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia.
Maggio is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, the American Composers Forum, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, ASCAP, BMI, New Music USA and Meet the Composer.
Published by Theodore Presser CompanyHickman Music Editions and Yelton Rhodes, Maggio’s music is recorded on the SummitAlbany and New World/CRI labels.
A graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania, Robert Maggio lives with his family in Lambertville, New Jersey. He is a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Music Theory, History and Composition at West Chester University’s School of Music in West Chester, PA.


Rook was commissioned by the dance company 10 Hairy Legs, for choreographer Randy James’ dance piece for the extraordinary dancer Nicholas Scissione. The creation of Rook was funded by New Music USA’s 2013 Live Music for Dance program. It was premiered May 30, 2013, at New York Live Arts, New York, NY, by Jane Chung, violin, Sara Biber, cello, Lachlan Glen, piano, and Levy Lorenzo, percussion.

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SURFARARA (excerpt)

Surfarara was commissioned by Australian trumpeter Clint Allen for his debut album, collaborating with Dutch pianist/composer Martin Fondse, and the extraordinary Amsterdam-based Zapp 4 String Quartet. Surfarara is an arrangement of a Sicilian sulfur miner’s song. The subtitle of the work is as follows: I forget, I have forgotten, I am forgotten, I have forgotten my own life…. which refers to the lyrics of the original song. Surfarara is dedicated to my mother and father, in honor of our Sicilian heritage.

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Songbook for Annamaria (String Quartet No. 1) was commissioned by the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, and was recorded by the Corigliano Quartet. I began composing this quartet in January of 2001. Near the end of that month, my grandmother, Marie Basili, passed away, and my daughter, Annamaria, came into my life (after a long-awaited adoption). The quartet explores widely varied emotional landscapes, opening with passionate, vigorous music that reflects the beginning of my journey into parenthood.

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