Van Stiefel

Ondarock / Reviews / 2018 / Sergio Sorrentino - Dream: American Music For Electric Guitar

…With Urutora-man (2014), derivation in Japanese of Ultraman, Van Stiefel pays homage to Toru Takemitsu with a sort of sad and twilight blues, thus evoking what could be a spiritual affiliation adapted to the stylistic features of the West."

Michele Palozzo

CD Release!

NEW on Mode Records!
SERGIO SORRENTINO, electric guitar
Works of Cage, Curran, Feldman, Lang, Polansky, Sharp, Stiefel, Vees, and Wolff

Ultraman by Van Stiefel, a composer and guitarist, is an homage to Toru Takemitsu and is based on the character of the super-hero Ultraman. Its effective fresco of resonances and harmonies enhance the intimate and evocative side of the electric guitar sound.

International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)

NYC folks, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) has a couple great free shows Abrons Arts Centerthis week as part of the #OpenICE series -- on 2.8 at 7:30pm we'll play a concert of largely contemplative music including music with guitar by Bernadette Speach Eva-Maria Houben Van Stiefel and #DannyClay and on 2.11 7:30pm the program explores threads of early music running through contemporary repertoire with music by #Carter, #RebeccaSaunders, Reiko Fueting, #EllenReid Karen Keyhani and a short work byJonathan Dawe for guitar and piano. come join us for some great rep! 

Splitting in Cuba

XXX Festival de Musica Contemporanea de La Habana. Sergio Sorrentino, guitar with video projection.

ultrasuoni from Il Manifesto

Il Manifesto still values journalism that covers the arts! Guido Michelone is a big musical mind for cultural omnivores to follow. He acknowledges genre and style distinctions without hesitating to comment on anything that moves him.

La Stampa

Anyone from Atlanta old enough to remember The Silver Screen? When I was 16, I used to drive there and watch Italian movies -- Fellini and Pasolini mostly. "La Stampa" equalled "cool newspaper" to me. Here's an interview with Sergio and I in today's "La Stampa." When you get to be my age, it's these little 'circles' that matter. It's even "print only;" how cool is that?  

Premiere of concerto for electric guitar

I will lead the Orchestra Sinfonica Carlo Coccia in the world premiere of Bound, for electric guitar and chamber orchestra written for Sergio Sorrentino, guitar. Programmed in a concert of American music presented by the Società del Quartteto di Vercelli.

"domenica 24 maggio 2015 - 21,00"

Sergio Sorrentino @ the Yale Guitar Extravaganza 2014

The eighth Yale Guitar Extravaganza will take place Saturday, February 22, 2014. This event, which is presented every 2–3 years at the Yale School of Music, offers a daylong immersion in all things guitar: concerts, workshops, demonstrations, and more.
This year’s concert artists include David Tanenbaum, René Izquierdo, Elina Chekan, and Van Stiefel. Panel discussions and workshops cover topics from education to composition, from early guitars to the electric guitar.
Van Stiefel, composer/guitarist
With Sergio Sorrentino, electric guitar
2–3 pm • Morse Recital Hall
Van Stiefel: Composing for Electric Guitar
3:15–4 pm • Sprague Hall, Room 305
Aaron Jay KernisPaul KerekesJack Vees, and Van Stiefel, panelists
Benjamin Verdery, moderator
Panel Discussion 
4–5:15 pm • Sudler Recital Hall


March 13, 2014. afterland for piano and video projection composed in memory of John August Otte. Performed by Carl Cranmer the piece combines a video layer of piano performance with live performance.
(photo by John Otte)

Daniel Lippel of ICE and Flexible Music plays from The Shape of Hands

Friend and collaborator plays from The Shape of Hands. December 18th, 2013

121 Ludlow St second floor Lower East Side New York 10002

Graduates at the Yale School of Music perform Cinema Castaneda

Ben Verdery's amazing students at the Yale School of Music gave the "second" performance of Cinema Castaneda.
December 4th, 2013
The livestream site at YSM is an amazing resource for hearing new live performance online.
Koh Kazama, Ian Tuski,
Katrin Endrikat,  and Ray Zhou,  guitars 

Interview with Sergio Sorrentino

Italian guitarist Sergio Sorentino lets me tell my story for
Sergio and I are collaborating on a new project for 2014!

'wrung' on Youtube

New Focus Recording recently put wrung from The Shape of Hands on Youtube. The editorial choice made me hear the piece differently. 

No matter how fixed we think a piece might be, there's always some variation of experience to be had that will change it altogether, forever. Listening to music changes it.

Smoke and Mirrors Broadcast on WRTI

Sunday, July21, 2013
WTRI 90.1 broadcast of Smoke and Mirrors for electric guitar and violin from my CD Solaris.
Nurit Pacht, violin
Daniel Lippel, e-guitar
Image above by my friend Mark Sheinkman
(forgive me, Mark)

Thrum on musicweb-international!

...its starting point from a collection of cowboy songs, the imagination of the composer wandering through frontier imagery, ballads and rancheros as well as a variety of contemporary and not-so contemporary pop influences. This description barely hints at the serious qualities in this piece, which takes us deeper into the sonic variety of the ensemble than any of the others, layering dynamics and playing with effects in ways which alter our perspectives and genuinely create a valuable and cinematic journey. The players are asked to sing as well at certain points, which is a further surprisingly effective additional nuance. There are ten movements, though the music runs continuously. This is the kind of piece which points out the vitality and character of genres and idioms rarely considered in serious musical contexts, and I’m an instant convert.
It seems a bit mean to cherry-pick, but if you are only downloading I would urge you to hear Van Stiefel’s Cinema Castaneda, and I shall certainly be looking out for more from the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet in future. 
Dominy Clements  

ATT:magazine on Cinema Castaneda

…the most conversational of the four composers, with luscious lines of melody complementing and re-enforcing the strums of the player before, and dissonant slanging matches erupting through stabs of buzzing nylon...

Show and tell...

Composer, guitarist and associate professor at West Chester University, Van Stiefel spent time with Upland 8th & 9th grade music students this morning. He guided them in writing new compositions with laptop orchestras, inspired by well-known paintings. Mr. Stiefel shared with the students how he was inspired by three particular Andrew Wyeth paintings in writing his recent piece "Wyeth Songs." Thank you Mr. Stiefel!

Masterclass with Philadelphia Sinfonia

Rehearsing Hourglass with Gary White and the principle strings of the Sinfonia. They sound great! Concert's tonight.

Wyeth Songs at the Brandywine

The last performance of Wyeth Songs (this season, anyway) took place 3/23 at the Brandywine River Museum--turned out to be a perfect space blending the young singers with the amazing Randall Scarlata.

Thrum on Audiophile Audition

Two terrific guitar quartet CDs at one time!

Big Think's Bob Duggan on Wyeth Songs

Stiefel’s Wyeth Songs redefines the idea of multimedia, snatching it back from modern technology and reclaiming it for the old school ideas of community, tradition, and love.

Bob Duggan