The Catholic University of America


Stephen Gorbos, D.M.A.
Associate Professor, Composition and Theory, Head of the Composition-Theory Division


Stephen Gorbos composes concert music for a range of ensembles and soloists. His music, described by the Washington Post as “lyrical…warm and richly drawn,” and by as “pulsating with a sense of urban life,” navigates a wide palette of genres and influences, creating a synthesis between styles as diverse as American rhythm & blues, western classical music, and Javanese gamelan. Whether composing for traditional ensembles, electronic media, or a mixture of both, Stephen tries to find and exploit the unique variables at play: this can the technical abilities of his collaborators, or distinct features in communities wiht which he might be engaging on a particular project 

Stephen has had his works performed in concert halls across the US and in Europe by organizations such as the Minnesota Orchestra, the Albany Symphony, the NOW Ensemble, and the Cuarteto Latinamericano. Recent projects include Passage through the city, composed for the Spektral Quartet, and Such sphinxes as these obey no one but their master, a new work for the vocal octet Roomful of Teeth. Upcoming projects include Aqua Vitae, for percussion quartet, commissioned by a consortium of 14 percussion university percussion ensembles. Stephen’s piece What I Decided to Keep was recently released by the Inscape Chamber Orchestra on their album American Aggregate; Stephen will be writing a new work for Inscape's 2017 - 2018 concert season. 
Stephen was recently awarded a 2016 Strauss Artist Grant from the Arts Council of Fairfax County, VA. During the summer of 2012, Stephen was composer-in-residence at High Concept Labs, a multidisciplinary arts space in the heart of Chicago. Stephen’s music has received recognition and support from ASCAP (2005 Morton Gould Award), Meet the Composer (2007 Creative Connections Grant), and the American Music Center (Composer Assistance Project Grant in 2006 and 2010). In 2008, Stephen was awarded a Subito Grant from the Amercian Composers Forum, and, as a recipient of the Aaron Copland Award, was composer-in-residence at Copland House. Stephen has also been a fellow at both the Tanglewood Music Center (2006) and the Aspen Music Festival’s composition masterclass (2002), and his music has been featured at Ostrava Music Days (2007), the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium (2005), the Chamber Music Academy and Composers Forum of the East (2005), the Bowdoin summer music festival (2004), and the Joventuts Musicals festival in Torroella de Montgri, Spain (2000).
Active as an educator, Stephen also teaches composition, theory, and music technology, having served as an Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at the Catholic University of America in the Benjamin T Rome School of Music since the fall of 2008 (where he is now head of the Division of Composition and Theory). For the academic year 2012 – 2013, Stephen taught as a visiting assistant professor in Yale University’s Department of Music. Stephen holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, an MM from the Yale School of Music, and a DMA from Cornell University.
Originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Stephen currently lives and works in Falls Church, Virginia.
Click here to visit Dr. Gorbos' website.

Excerpts from selected compositions by Stephen Gorbos: 


           And They Sing This for clarinet and electronics


           Passage Through the City for string quartet (Spektral Quartet)


           Tudo Bem?Tudo Bom? for flute, bassoon and piano