The music of American composer Bruce Stark (born in San Diego) reflects the varied elements of his musical upbringing: studies in percussion, jazz piano, and classical composition. He began formal studies in composition at California State University, Northridge studying with Aurelio de la Vega and Daniel Kessner, twice winning the school's composition prize, and went on to complete a masters degree in composition at the Juilliard School as a student of Roger Sessions and Vincent Persichetti. Thereafter for more than 20 years Stark resided in Tokyo, producing a collection of works that reveal a unique and compelling musical voice, drawing from a multiplicity of disciplines and sensibilities. In 2013 he returned to the U.S. and joined the faculty of DigiPen Institute of Technology (Seattle area) as professor of composition and music theory.
Recent commissions include Three Dances for flute, violin and piano from Friends of Today's Music, Suite for Horn, Trombone and Piano for Megumi Kanda (Milwaukee Symphony), Urban Nocturnes for German pianist Kai Schumacher and Suite for Two Tenor Trombones and Piano for Don Lucas. He was recently chosen to be the 2019 Commissioned Composer of the Year by the Washington State Music Teachers' Association.
From piano and chamber works to choral and orchestral pieces, Bruce Stark’s music has been performed on the concert stages of four continents, recorded on numerous CDs and broadcast on radio programs worldwide. Awards include First Prize in the Composers Guild Contest, Second Prize in the Barlow International Competition, ASCAP composer awards and others. His compositions have been featured in the National Flute Association Convention, American Piano Festival, International Trombone Festival, Canberra International Chamber Music Festival, and Keys To The Future piano music series in New York City. Other performances have included the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra under Timothy Muffitt, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under David Charles Abell, Rapides Symphony under Joshua Zona, Jakarta Symphony under Rebecca Tong, Westwood Wind Quintet, flutist Paula Robison and numerous pianists. Recordings of his works have been released by Victor Entertainment (Japan), Hanssler Classic (Germany), Centaur Records (US), Red Kite Records (Seann Alderking's performances of his piano works), and separate pieces are included in releases by vocal group Ars Nova, Tokyo Clarinet Ensemble and many others.