New York City-based composer Harry Stafylakis (b. 1982) hails from Montreal, Canada. “Dreamy yet rhythmic” (NY Times), with a “terrible luminosity” and “ferociously expressive” (Times Colonist), his concert music is “an amalgamation of the classical music tradition and the soul and grime of heavy metal” (I Care If You Listen). With an intimate background in progressive metal and traditional Greek music, Stafylakis has developed a unique conception of musical temporality and rhythm, infusing his compositions with a characteristic vitality and drive that “favors doomsday chords and jackhammer rhythms” (The New Yorker).
Stafylakis is the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Composer-In-Residence and Co-Curator of the WSO’s Winnipeg New Music Festival. His works have been performed by the Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Victoria, PEI, Spokane, Stamford, FSU, and Greek Youth Symphony Orchestras, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, McGill Chamber Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Roomful of Teeth, JACK Quartet, ICE, Contemporaneous, Mivos Quartet, Quatuor Bozzini, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Nouveau Classical Project, ensemble mise-en, Standing Wave, Paramirabo, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Cygnus Ensemble, Ensemble 212, Alea III, Lorelei Ensemble, Architek Percussion, Norrbotten NEO, and American Modern Ensemble. His works have been featured at the NY Philharmonic Biennial, Aspen Music Festival, Winnipeg New Music Festival, and the Montreal International Classical Guitar Festival, among others. In 2018–19 he collaborated with progressive metal pioneers Animals As Leaders on the orchestral adaptation of their music for metal band & orchestra.
Recent and upcoming recordings featuring his music include albums by Jenny Lin (Sono Luminus), the Cicchillitti-Cowan Duo (Analekta), Patrick Kearney (Contrastes), the Hard Rubber Orchestra and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.
His music has been recognized with the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the ASCAP Foundation’s Leonard Bernstein Award, four SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers, and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, SSHRC, and New Music USA. He serves on the board of directors of GroundSwell (Winnipeg), is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre, and a founding member of the NYC composer collective ICEBERG New Music.
Stafylakis holds degrees from McGill University and The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). He lectures at the City College of New York. His research examines the conception of rhythm and meter in progressive metal.