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Stephanie Griffin

New York, NY   

Stephanie Griffin, Composer/Violist

“enthralling” – Mark Swed, The Los Angeles Times

“fiery, full-throttle performance” – Allan Kozinn, The New York Times

“one of the city’s most inquisitive, accomplished violists” – Steve Smith, Time Out New York

Stephanie Griffin is an innovative composer/violist with a unique and eclectic musical vision. Born in Canada and based in New York City, her musical adventures have taken her to Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, England, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Mexico and Mongolia. From large concert halls to the sand dunes of the Gobi desert, she has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in classical, contemporary and improvisational contexts.

As a composer, she was the recipient of the prestigious 2017 Emerging Composer and Sound Artist Fellowship from the Jerome Foundation, and the 2016 composition fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has a growing catalogue of concert chamber music, and has engaged in fruitful collaborations with choreographers, filmmakers and theater artists. Steve Smith described her hour-long theatrical string quartet for children, “The Lost String Quartet” as “really, really smart, imaginative, and beautifully conceived and executed.” She has taught experimental composition workshops in Indonesia, and was a guest lecturer for the composition seminar at the University of Binghamton. She will be a Composition Fellow at the Instituto Sacatar in Brazil in the summer of 2019.

As an improviser, Stephanie was a 2014 fellow at Music Omi, and is a member of Carl Maguire’s Floriculture, Gordon Beeferman’s Other Life Forms, Hans Tammen’s Third Eye Orchestra, Adam Rudolph’s Go: Organic Orchestra and the composer/improviser collective the Brooklyn Infinity Orchestra. She worked closely with the late Butch Morris from 2001 until shortly before his death in 2013, and was the only non-Indonesian member of Tony Prabowo’s New Jakarta Ensemble, creating avant-garde compositions alongside traditional musicians from Sumatra.

Stephanie has worked closely with numerous composers as a viola soloist, among them Salvatore Sciarrino; Tristan Murail; Tony Prabowo; Kee Yong Chong; Ursula Mamlok; Matthew Greenbaum; and Arthur Kampela.

A founding member of the Momenta Quartet, she has given over 200 chamber concerts at such esteemed venues as the Library of Congress and the National Gallery in Washington, DC and led residencies at major American institutes of higher education, among them Cornell and New York Universities and the Eastman School of Music. Ms. Griffin performs regularly with the New York contemporary music institution, Continuum, and has given American premieres of major works by leading European composers, among them Georg Friedrich Haas and Michael Jarrell, as a member of the Argento Chamber Ensemble. From 1998 through 2002, she was Executive Director of the contemporary music series at Galapagos Art and Performance Space.

Ms. Griffin is now in her fourteenth year as principal violist of the Princeton Symphony, and teaches viola at Brooklyn and Hunter Colleges. She studied viola with William Gordon in Vancouver, Paul DeClerck in Brussels and Wayne Brooks at Rice University in Houston, and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School where she studied with Juilliard Quartet violist Samuel Rhodes. Stephanie’s varied viola sounds can be heard on a diverse array of classical, new music, jazz and world music labels, among them Tzadik, Innova, Naxos, Aeon, Centaur, Aksara, Firehouse 12, and New World, Albany, and Aeon records.


Stephanie Griffin: Music in Two Parts for Three Improvisers (2016)

The world premiere performance of composer Stephanie Griffin’s Music in Two Parts for Three Improvisers on March 4, 2016 at the Time In Gallery in New York City.

Stephanie Griffin, viola
Hilliard Greene, double bass
Thomas Heberer, trumpet and quarter tone trumpet

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Stephanie Griffin: BIO Rhythms (2015) for the Brooklyn Infinity Orchestra

Live performance of Stephanie Griffin’s BIO Rhythms written for and played by members of the Brooklyn Infinity Orchestra (BIO)at Andrew Drury’s concert series Soup and Sound, December 2, 2015:
David Bindman and Michael Attias, saxophones
Thomas Heberer, cornet
Stephanie Griffin, viola
Gil Selinger, cello
Jen Baker, trombone
Andrew Drury, drums

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Stephanie Griffin: Poem from Exile (2015) for 7 violas, arranged for 6 violas and cello (2018)

I arranged my 7-viola piece, Poem from Exile, for 6 violas and cello for my curated night of the annual Momenta Festival in October 2018. The Momenta Quartet’s violinists agreed to play viola for the occasion, and I made this arrangement so that our cellist could participate! The remaining three performers played the world premiere of the original version in 2016.

The Americas Society, NYC
October 15, 2018

Stephanie Griffin
William Hakim
Caroline Johnston
Emilie-Anne Gendron
Alex Shiozaki

Cello: Michael Haas

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