Dr. Paul Steenhuisen (born Vancouver, Canada) is an independent composer working with acoustic and digital media. His concert music consists of orchestral, chamber, solo, and vocal music, and often includes live electronics and soundfiles. Additionally, he is the composer for the HYPOSURFACE installation project, based at MIT.
Raised by parents from The Netherlands and Curaçao, the confluence of his heritage and upbringing in North American culture has informed both his education and musical output. Initially, Steenhuisen worked with Keith Hamel (DMA, UBC), then Louis Andriessen at the Royal Conervatory in the Hague, and Michael Finnissy in Hove, England, while later he was one of ten composers selected to work with Tristan Murail in the Annual Composition Course at IRCAM in Paris. During those years, he was laureate of more than a dozen national and international awards, including the Governor General of Canada Gold Medal as the outstanding student in all faculties (UBC), seven awards in the PROCAN/SOCAN Competition, and four in the CBC Young Composers Competition. He was a finalist in the Gaudeamus Music Week, and his piece WONDER was a "recommended" work at the International Rostrum of Composers (UNESCO, Paris).
Subsequently, Steenhuisen was composer in residence with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Assistant Professor of Composition at the University of Alberta. In 2011, he was awarded the Victor Martin Lynch-Staunton Award (Canada Council for the Arts) as the outstanding mid-career artist in music. He is also the author of Sonic Mosaics: Conversations with Composers, and host of the SOUNDLAB New Music Podcast (iTunes). His music has been called “Superb… the high point of the concert” (Neuzeit Graz, Austria), as well as “filth” (La Presse, Montréal), with a “freshness that bodes well for the future” (Paris Transatlantic).