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Donald Steven

Donald Steven was born in Montréal in 1945. An award-winning composer whose works have been performed on four continents, he has won a number of major awards, including the Jules-Léger Prize for New Chamber Music, the JUNO Award for "Best Classical Composition" from the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts, and the Golden Jubilee Creative Arts Award from the Canadian Federation of University Women. His music has been performed throughout the world, at such prestigious festivals as the World Music Days of the International Society for Contemporary Music and the World Cello Congress, and by major orchestras such as l'orchestre symphonique de Montréal. Among the artists for whom he has written are Maureen Forrester, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Bertram Turetzky, Robert Riseling, Alvaro Pierri, the Pierrot Ensemble, Répercussion, Lawrence Cherney, Days Months and Years To Come, New Music Concerts, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. His most recent work, ô, to make dreames true, was commissioned by the ensemble Newband and the Harry Partch Instrumentarium and premiered as part of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra's "American Roots Festival". In addition to classical music, Mr. Steven has a background as a performer and arranger in folk and rock music, and has worked as an arranger for, among others, the McGarrigle Sisters, Stan Rogers, and Graham Townsend.

He has held fellowships from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of Quebec, and Princeton University, and received grants from the McGill Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Mr. Steven received his M.F.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University and his Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University. He taught at the University of Western Ontario and McGill before becoming dean of the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, SUNY in 1992. At McGill he was Chair of the Department of Performance and was involved in the modernization of the Electronic Music Studio and the evolution of computer music studies. Subsequent to his appointment at Purchase, Mr. Steven was founding dean of Roosevelt University's College of the Performing Arts where he championed the development of its Orchestral Training Program and developed a faculty comprised of many the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's principal players. His composition students have won a number of honors in major competitions, including the Canadian Federation of University Women Creative Arts Award, the New England Computer Arts Association Competition, the Concours Internazionale "Luigi Russolo," the Hugh LeCaine Award, the William St.-Clair Low Award, the Sir Ernest MacMillan Award, and the Scotia Festival (adjudicated by Pierre Boulez).

Currently, Donald Steven is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of Rider University, in Lawrenceville and Princeton, New Jersey. Prior to his appointment at Rider, Mr. Steven was Provost and Dean of the College at The Citadel in South Carolina and, previously, Executive Vice Provost of the State University of New York, where he was responsible for the planning, development and evaluation of academic activities across the 64-campus SUNY system.

He has served as a member of the New York State Education Department Group on Quality Assurance in Higher Education, the Educational Board of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Board of Directors of the New York State Association of College Music Programs, the Canadian League of Composers, the Canadian Music Centre, as Composer-in-Residence at the Courtenay Youth Music Festival, and on many juries, including the Shanghai International Radio Festival, Chairman of the International Jury for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Competition for Young Composers, and as Artistic Director of the Thayer Fellowships in the Arts.

October 2006

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Canadian Music Centre