STEPHEN MELILLO, Composer
“Melillo is to wind music what Beethoven was to the symphony orchestra, and he follows a Beethovenesque design of increasing the musical tension almost to the breaking point, receding, and then reaching again. It is superlative musical craftsmanship and inspiring to hear.” Marvin Sosna, Music Critic
“His S-MATRIX Symphony was fabulous, full of childlike wonderment as the composer intended and marvelous sounds. And they worked to maximum effect — a brilliant, original use of orchestral resources for a sophisticated, sensational, beautiful and satisfying experience.” Nancy R. Ping-Robbins, Music Critic
“...a new voice in the direction of music, his sound – a bridge between the serious and the immediately visceral.” Maestro Gerhardt Zimmerman, Conductor
“...his ability to create a mood, find precisely the right touch of drama and create the needed effect was manifest... the sustained chords in the choir, the timpani’s roar, the harp’s glissandos. Melillo used them all with a sense of absolute rightness and the result was fresh, joyful and exciting... each measure scored with an unerring ear for drama and emotion.” John S. Sweeney, Music Critic
“He could become the Leonard Bernstein of this age... Everything he creates has many layers, ranging from synchronicity to the significance of numbers, from visceral emotions to the brotherhood of mankind.” John S. Sweeney, Music Critic
BIO by SCL
Please search "Digital Libretti" for liner notes and more.
Into 2017, Stephen's 4th Symphony was nominated for the Pulitzer and Nemmers Prize in Music. Winner of three 2009 Telly & Ava Awards for his 2005 Visualized Concert, Kakehashi: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE, Stephen's concert-version was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. His 15 feature film scores include the Oscar-nominated 12:01PM, and most recently, The Unwilling. An ASCAP Concert Awards recipient each year since 1992, Stephen's more than 1145 works include 4 symphonies, several concerti and over 33-hours of Music for Ensembles of the 3rd Millennium™. With 28 CDs and 6 books on iTunes, and simply by word-of-mouth, Stephen's pioneering, self-publishing entity known as STORMWORKS has gone from 0 to many thousands of worldwide renderings since 1992.
Music by Stephen Melillo has been played and recorded by some of the World’s finest ensembles and conductors. More than 1145 works span from the IBM Thinkpad® Demo to the Concerto for Violin & Orchestra. Currently 160 commissions for Ensembles of the 3rd Millennium™ comprise the body of recorded work called STORMWORKS.
ASCAP continues each year since 1992 to recognize Stephen’s work with Special Awards in Concert Music. In 2005, his Documentary in Music, KAKEHASHI: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. Marking 60 years since the end of WWII, this 70-minute work involved an unprecedented gesture in Music-making and made International History. Inspired by and dedicated to the Survivors of the Bataan Death March, Kakehashi was recorded by an ensemble of 2 American Choruses and 143 world-class Japanese Military Musicians specially appointed for this historic occasion by the Japanese Ministry of Defense. In 2006, The World Historic recording, STORMWORKS Chapter 5:8, Writings on the Wall, was balloted in 4 categories in the 49th Grammy Awards. In 2008, the “visually scored,” DVD version of THAT WE MIGHT LIVE was balloted in the 50th Grammy Awards for Best Long Form Documentary. The same work won 2 Telly Film Awards for History/Biography and Music Concert. It also won an AVA Award that same year.
In 1992, Stephen’s innovation in self-publishing and digital music dissemination, known as STORMWORKS, established a modern precedent in international Music publishing. STORMWORKS is represented online and via store dealerships in the United States and throughout 28 European and Asian countries.
You will find Stephen’s scoring work in 15 feature films and 28 network television programs, and in the 1991 Academy Award-nominated movie 12:01PM starring Kurtwood Smith. In the early 1990’s Stephen composed game music for Nintendo, Sega-Genesis and others through his affiliation with Absolute Entertainment. His work in this field, presented at the 1993 NAMM convention positioned him as a pioneer for a complete new generation of “film-scoring” approaches to game-music.
During the scoring of 12:01PM, Stephen authored and implemented Music To Picture, a hands-on curriculum establishing, in 1991, the film-scoring program at the State University of New York at Purchase.
The 1992 premiere of Stephen Melillo’s S-MATRIX Symphony # Numberless, conducted by Maestro Gerhardt Zimmerman with the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, received the first standing ovation in the 40-year History of the Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh. During intermission, a delighted Maestro Zimmerman commissioned Stephen’s; Symphony 2: At Life’s Edge, which premiered in 1996. He has since commissioned SYMPHONY IIII: Lightfall, which will receive a 2015 premiere.
As creator of MIDIMAST, (MIDI-Music, Mathematics & Science) sponsored by the Ford and Carnegie Foundations and the New York Academy of Science, Mr. Melillo trained 275 New York City Mathematics & Science teachers in the early 1980s while demonstrating a quantifiably improved understanding of mathematics and science via music composition. Case studies included numerous classes with K-6 students from Harlem, Spanish Harlem, Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens.
His scoring techniques, orchestration and recording practices with the modern Wind Ensemble have been the subject of several Doctoral dissertations in America, Europe and the Orient. Many of the World’s finest ensembles and conductors continue to employ his innovative strategies and instrumentation.
Many of Stephen’s students now enjoy musical careers as professionals in an eclectic range, employed as teachers, recording artists, television and studio musicians and members of major symphony orchestras.
With 17 years in the public schools, 43 years as an international guest conductor, and more than 47 years as a practitioner of the Chinese martial art, Stephen’s ability to communicate musically comes from an extensive knowledge base. From beginning instrumental students to Musicians employed by the Rotterdam and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, Stephen has worked with a vast array of multinational students aged 4-87. Such diverse experience includes teaching Braille-reading music students at Perkins School for the Blind in Massachusetts to teaching close-quarter defense techniques to an 11-man detachment of Green Berets stationed in Mansfield, Connecticut during the late 1970s.
Stephen studied conducting with Jens Nygaard and Atilio Poto, a student of Arturo Toscanini. Varied educators, conductors and commissioning parties have termed Stephen Melillo’s work “a new voice in the direction of music.”
In addition to film work, 155 live concert premieres include:
Last World Standing: HEROES of PEACE, rendered by the Sinfonischen Blasorcehesters Ried in the Brucknerhaus, Linz, Austria. Karl Geroldinger & Stephen Melillo conducting.
STORMWORKS Chapter 0: WALK on the WATER, rendered by The Dutch Royal Military Band in Rotterdam, Stephen Melillo conducting.
STORMWORKS Chapter 1: Without Warning, rendered by combined Musicians from the US Army, Navy and Air Force, Stephen Melillo conducting.
STORMWORKS Chapter 2: WENDE, rendered by The Rundfunk Blasorchester Leipzig in Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Stephen Melillo conducting.
STORMWORKS Chapter 3: WAIT of the WORLD, rendered by The Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Maurice Hamers conducting.
STORMWORKS Chapters 5 & 8: WRITINGS on the WALL, rendered by 143 Musicians of the Japanese Military and The Central Band of Japan Self Defense Force with choruses from Shenandoah & Old Dominion Universities in Tokyo, Japan, Stephen Melillo conducting.
STORMWORKS Chapter 21: WON WAY, rendered by the Sinfonischen Blasorcehesters Ried in the Brucknerhaus, Linz, Austria. Karl Geroldinger conducting.
MUSASHI & WAIT of the WORLD rendered by The Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra in Tokyo, Japan, David Bostock conducting.
The Concerto for Violin, rendered by The Sudwind Orchester from Germany, Stephen Melillo conducting.
S-MATRIX & Symphony 2: At Life’s Edge, rendered by The North Carolina and Canton Symphony Orchestras, Gerhardt Zimmerman conducting.
Stephen’s 1976 composition, After the Storm, was played to a television audience of over 2 million as the concluding work in Singapore’s 2005 salute to “Building a New Future.” In December of 2011, Stephen’s tribute to Roberto Clemente, 21 WON WAY was nationally televised in Spain.
In addition to numerous guest conducting assignments around the world, Stephen has also made Music with the following US All-State Bands: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Dakota (2x), New Mexico (2x), and New York.
Stephen attended the University of Connecticut at Storrs in 1976, the Manhattan School of Music in NYC in 1979, and holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Massachusetts in 1980 and a Masters in Music and Conducting from Columbia University, New York in 1982.
12:01 PM (OSCAR Nomination, Best Live Action Short)
PBS Teledrama: Actress Works (EMMY Nomination for PBS Teleplay)
Unsung Heroes (NYPD Documentary)
Crossing the Line
Benefit of the Doubt
Music for STAR SEARCH
Music for WNEW Radio
ABC Life Goes On
ABC Sunday Night Movie
ABC All My Children
ABC General Hospital
ABC Business World
ABC America's Funniest Videos
ABC American Music Awards
ABC Doogie Howser, MD
ABC Going to Extremes
ABC Good Morning America
ABC Home Improvement
ABC Jack's Place
ABC One Life to Live
ABC Primetime Live
ABC Sunday Night Movie
ABC The Commish
ABC This Week With David Brinkley
ABC World News Now
ABC World News Sunday
NBC The Fresh Prince
NBC Special: Fairgame
NBC Movie of the Week
NBC Night Court
Nickolodean Adventures of Pete
Mr. Ed's Corral
A Cold Night
A Horse of Her Own
Cable & Industrial Projects Including Music for Sega, Super-Nintendo & IBM
Commercial Soundtracks, including Music for the NY Nets, Yankees & Giants