Steve Lehman

Steve Lehman

Steve Lehman (b. New York City, 1978) is a composer, performer, educator, and scholar who works across a broad spectrum of experimental musical idioms. Lehman’s pieces for large orchestra and chamber ensembles have been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), So Percussion, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, The Jack String Quartet, members of the Argento and Wet Ink Ensembles, and by the pianist Marilyn Nonken. An alto and sopranino saxophonist, Lehman has performed and recorded nationally and internationally with his own ensembles and with those led by Anthony Braxton, Dave Burrell, Mark Dresser, Vijay Iyer, Oliver Lake, Meshell Ndegeocello, David Wessel, and High Priest of Anti-Pop Consortium. His recent electro-acoustic music has focused on the development of computer-driven models for improvisation, based in the Max/MSP programming environment. Lehman’s work has been favorably reviewed in Artforum, Downbeat Magazine, The New York Times, Newsweek, and The Wire, and on National Public Radio and the BBC.

As a Fulbright scholar in France during the 2002-2003 academic year, Lehman began researching the reception of African-American experimental composers working in France during the 1970s. His article in the journal Critical Studies in Improvisation, “I Love You with an Asterisk: African-American Experimental Composers and the French Jazz Press, 1970-1980,” is based on his Fulbright research. He is currently working on a study of the overlapping histories of spectral music and contemporary improvisation.

Lehman received his B.A. (2000) and M.A. in Composition (2002) from Wesleyan University where he studied under Anthony Braxton, Jay Hoggard, and Alvin Lucier, while concurrently working with Jackie McLean at the Hartt School of Music. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Music Composition at Columbia University, where he is a departmental fellow and studies under Tristan Murail and George Lewis.

Lehman has taught undergraduate courses at Wesleyan University, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, New School University, and Columbia University, and has presented lectures at Amherst College, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, CalArts, The Berklee School of Music, Cornish College of the Arts, The Royal Academy of Music in London, and IRCAM in Paris, where he was a 2011 composer-in-residence. His most recent recording, Travail, Transformation & Flow (Pi 2009), was chosen as the #1 Jazz Album of the year by The New York Times.