Steven Mackey, electric guitar & composer

Steven Mackey was born in 1956, to American parents stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. He is regarded as one of the leading composers of his generation and has composed for orchestra, chamber ensembles, dance, and opera.

His first musical passion was playing the electric guitar in rock bands based in northern California. He blazed a trail in the 1980s and 90s by including the electric guitar and vernacular music influence in his concert music and he regularly performs his own work, including two electric guitar concertos and numerous solo and chamber works.

He has received numerous awards from institutions such as the Guggenheim Foundation, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and in 2012 he won a Grammy. His work has been performed by many of the world’s leading orchestras, from Tokyo to Frankfurt and Los Angeles to New York; ensembles including the Kronos, Arditti, and Brentano string quartets, Psappha, London Sinfonietta, and Eighth Blackbird; and soloists such as Leila Josefowicz, Alisa Weilerstein, Orli Shaham, Anthony Marwood, and Fred Sherry.

There are a dozen CDs devoted to Mackey’s music available, and his music is published by Boosey and Hawkes. He is currently the William S. Conant Professor of Music at Princeton University, where he has been on the faculty since 1985. More information is available at