Dr. Steven Simpson was born in 1967 in Waldorf, Md and earned a D.M. in Composition at the University of Michigan in 2003. His principal teachers were William Bolcolm, Bright Sheng and William Albright. Additional studies include a Bachelors from the D'Angelo School of Music, where he studied with nationally renowned composer Albert Glinsky.
Continuing his studies, he received his M.M. at Bowling Green University under the tutelage of Marilyn Shrude and Burton Berman.
Simpson is a musical storyteller, crafting an emotional journey for the listener. His compositions range from large orchestral works to small chamber works. Simpson's music has been performed by various groups and individuals throughout the United States. Among them, the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, the Carolina Pops Orchestra, the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and the world-renowned new music ensemble, Relaché.
In 2012 Simpson collaborated with Matthew Coley and Sonic Inertia who performed Radioactive Octopus for Marimba Quartet on a three state tour. At the end of 2012, Coley recorded Simpson’s Flow for Marimba and Cello with Julie Sturm for a future CD release. At the same time Flow was used in the creation of a performance video in a collaboration between Coley, the Co'Motion Dance Theatre and Director Valerie Williams, and Chad Jacobsen.
Past Awards include, 1st-prize in the 2010 Classical Lounge Competition for Orchestra, 2nd-prize in the 2011 Percussive Arts Society Composition Competition, the 14th Annual Bowling Green New Music Festival Award, the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra's Young and Emerging Composers Series, Honorable Mention from ASCAP for his work, Free Flight for Flute and Piano, and the 2013 Greater Cleveland Flute Society Composer’s Connection Competition.
Radioactive Octopus was inspired by the earthquake and subsequent nuclear disaster that occurred in Japan in March of 2011. Each player represents two of the tentacles of the octopus, and a visual movement of the octopus is portrayed through imitation of musical lines. Additionally, changing textures, harmonic shifts, and sudden dynamic contrast portray...