Thomas Schuttenhelm

Artist Teacher

Music History

The Hartt School
860.768.4447 Fuller 330

DMA, The Hartt School, University of Hartford

MM, The Hartt School, University of Hartford

BM, College of Saint Rose

Thomas Schuttenhelm is an American composer and guitarist whose compositions have a strong conceptual component exhibiting an intentional belatedness that gives expression to the post-historical conditions of the 21st century. His music uses embodied programs and celebrates in allusions to the musical, literary, poetic, visual, and theatrical influences that resonate throughout his compositions. His compositions are commonly the result of collaborations with musicians, poets, actors and artists, and the music he writes is often as much ‘about’ the people he collaborates with as it is for them perform.

His compositions can be heard on numerous recordings and have been performed throughout the country and abroad by such artists as: the Adaskin String Trio; Tempo del Fuoco, the Alturas Duo; classical guitarists: Eliot Fisk, Jason Vieaux, Aaron Larget-Caplan; the UK Guitar Quartet, the New Haven Guitar Quartet, the world music duo Kaliedos, Daniel Salazar and the Hartford Festival Orchestra; pianist Paul Bisaccia, the Goldspiel-Provost Classical Guitar Duo, bassists Robert Black and Volkan Orhon, the Connecticut Trio, the Connecticut Yankee Chorale, and the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra. His piano music was featured on the PBS (WGBY- Springfield, WGBH-Boston) special The Great American Piano.

He has performed electric guitar with the FIREWORKS Ensemble, a contemporary music ensemble; collaborated with the Wellspring Dance Company, a performance art company based in New York; toured with Purple Rock Productions, a diverse theater group, performing on guitar and balalaika; and was a composer-performer member of the Boston Public Works Contemporary Music Series held at Harvard University. He is a member of the Restless Guitar Ensemble and the contemporary music ensemble Live Wires.

In addition to composing for some of America’s top soloists and ensembles, he is an experienced performer and scholar. He has been a guest lecturer at Yale University, Duke University, Temple University, Howard University, Cardiff University, University of Newcastle, University of Sussex, University of London, and at the Mannheim Hochschule for Music. His publications include The Selected Letters of Michael Tippett, published by Faber, and he is the contributing author to an edition on Fernando Sor. He has also authored numerous articles and reviews for the journal Soundboard. In addition, he has contributed to various BBC Radio programs. He writes entries for the B.R.A.H.M.S., the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music encyclopedia of post-WWII music.

In 2007 he was the recipient of a prestigious Senior Scholar Fulbright Fellowship to the U.K. (London). In 2008 he was a British Music Studies fellow at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2011 he delivered a paper for the international conference in Lille (France) on Tracking the Creative Process in Music. He is a contributing author for the Tippett Cambridge Companion (CUP/2013) and his monograph, also for Cambridge University Press, on The Orchestral Music of Michael Tippett: Creative Development and the Compositional Process was published in March 2014. He participated in the Britten at 100 at the University of Illinois in October 2013 delivering a talk on 'Young Apollos: Britten and Tippett' and his book Vision and Revision: Michael Tippett’s Fifth String Quartet will be published by Ashgate-Routledge in 2017. He was awarded the Edison Fellowship to continue his research in the Sound Archives at the British Library for 2016-17.  

 He currently divides his time between Washington DC and Hartford CT.