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Steven Ricks

Professor
Composition & Theory Division, Division Coordinator

4223 MB
Provo, UT 84602

Biography

Steven L. Ricks (b. 1969) is described in BBC Music Magazine as a composer “unafraid to tackle big themes.” He creates work that is bold, innovative, ambitious, and diverse, often including strong narrative and theatrical influences. He writes for specific performers and performance situations and works towards unique moments that capitalize on interesting convergences. His music is performed and recorded by several leading artists and ensembles, including counter)induction (NY), New York New Music Ensemble, Canyonlands New Music Ensemble (SLC), Talujon Percussion (NY), Hexnut (Amsterdam, NE), Links Ensemble (Paris, FR), Manhattan String Quartet, Earplay (SF), NOVA Chamber Music Series (SLC), Empyrean Ensemble (SF), NY Metropolitan Opera soprano Jennifer Welch-Babidge, pianist Keith Kirchoff, guitarist Dan Lippel, flutist Carlton Vickers, and violinist Curtis Macomber.

For the past 15+ years Ricks has also been active as a performer on trombone and laptop (live electronics), most notably with colleague Christian Asplund through the RICKSPLUND free-improvisation duo (see the RICKSPLUND page on this website for more information). Ricks has performed and recorded with RICKSPLUND and other artists, including Douglas Ewart, Vinny Golia, Anne La Berge, Ron Coulter, and Oğuz Büyükberber, and has performed at several ISIM conferences, MOXsonic, and creative music venues including an upcoming appearance at Elastic Arts in Chicago, March 2024.

Ricks has received commissions and awards from the Fromm Music Foundation, the Barlow Endowment, SCI, and Center for Latter-day Saint Arts, among others, including a 2023 Barlow Endowment LDS Commission to write a new work for contrabass flute and electronics for Ned McGowan. His music has been featured at multiple national and international conferences, festivals, and symposia, including ICMC, SEAMUS, NYCEMF, ISIM, KISS (Kyma International Sound Symposium), Third Practice, Festival of New American Music, and TRANSIT (Leuven, BE). Recordings of his music appear on multiple labels, including Bridge Records, New Focus Recordings, Neuma Records, Albany Records, pfMENTUM, Vox Novus, and Comprovise Records.

Ricks received degrees in music composition from Brigham Young University (BM), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (MM), the University of Utah (PhD), and a Certificate in Advanced Musical Studies (CAMS) from King's College London. He is a professor in the BYU School of Music where he teaches music theory and composition and is the Music Composition and Theory Division Coordinator (2016 to the present). He is former Editor of the Newsletter for the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (2012-19), and was director of the BYU Electronic Music Studio for 20 years (2001-2021).

Research Interests

Electroacoustic composition, contemporary art music composition, improvisation with and without electronics, multimedia theater.

Teaching Interests

Electronic music composition, chamber music composition, live electronic performance and improvisation, music theory.

Honors and Awards

  • Fromm Music Foundation Commission, Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University (2010 - 2010)

Courses Taught

Publications

Steven Leon Ricks Steven Leon Ricks Christian T Asplund Steven Leon Ricks Vinny Golia Ron Coulter Steven Leon Ricks Steven Leon Ricks