2019-2020 Featured Composer
Composer and pianist John Musto is that all too rare exemplar, the classical composer whose work is both critically acclaimed and widely performed, who has also distinguished himself as an instrumental soloist and chamber musician. His activities encompass virtually every genre: orchestral and operatic, solo, chamber and vocal music, concerti, and music for film and television. His music embraces many strains of contemporary American concert music, enriched by sophisticated inspirations from jazz, ragtime and the blues. These qualities lend a strong profile to his vocal music, which ranges from a series of operas – Volpone, Later the Same Evening, Bastianello, and The Inspector – to a catalogue of art songs that is among the finest of any living American composer.
As pianist he has performed repertoire from Galuppi sonatas to Bolcom études, Bach keyboard concerti to Bernstein's Age of Anxiety, his own piano concerti, Schubert :ieder to the Great American Songbook. He also performs frequently with his wife, soprano Amy Burton, in recital and cabaret.
Mr. Musto was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his orchestral song cycle Dove Sta Amore, and is a recipient of two Emmy awards, two CINE Awards, a Rockefeller Fellowship at Bellagio, an American Academy of Arts and Letters award, and a Distinguished Alumnus award from the Manhattan School of Music. He is currently on the piano faculty of the CUNY Graduate Center in New York, where he also serves as coordinator of the D.M.A. Program in Music Performance.
Musto's work has been recorded by Bridge, Harmonia Mundi, Nonesuch, Cedille, The Milken Archive, Naxos, Harbinger, CRI and EMI, Hyperion, MusicMasters, Innova, Channel Classics, Albany, and New World Records. He is published by Peermusic Classical.