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Steve Roens
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Steve Roens

Professor Emeritus, Composition

DMA Columbia University
MFA Brandeis University
BA in Anthropology Swarthmore College



Steve Roens holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology from Swarthmore College, a Master of Fine Arts degree in music theory and composition from Brandeis University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from Columbia University. He has studied composition with Seymour Shifrin, Martin Boykan, Arthur Berger, Chou Wen-Chung, Jack Beeson, and Mario Davidovsky. He is the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Composers' Conference, and a former visiting assistant professor at Wellesley College. In addition to teaching music theory and composition at the University of Utah, Dr. Roens served for seven years as the Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts and is currently an Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Director of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. His music is published by the Association for the Promotion of New Music and is available on the Centaur label.

Roens's writing is freely atonal, rhythmically fluid, and spare. It has been called by one critic, neo-Webernian. Primarily for chamber groups of varying sizes and soloists, pieces have been commissioned by the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, the Nova Chamber Music Series , the late pianist Rebecca La Brecque., and the Intermezzo Chamber Music Series.

As a teacher of composition, while his background and practice are informed by the literature of atonal music, Roens attempts to help students find their own voices and originality in whatever direction their stylistic predilections evolve.

Roens enjoys dividing his time between teaching and his administrative duties and believes that these different activities support each other in a variety of ways.He is also an avid photographer, amateur astronomer, and hiker.

Courses Taught

  • Composition Lessons
  • 20th/21st Century Analysis I
Last Updated: 3/22/23