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Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For the past thirty years he has championed contemporary percussion music as a performer and teacher, by commissioning and premiering more than one hundred new works for percussion.
Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego and was previously a Consulting Artist in Percussion at the Manhattan School of Music. He was the percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars of New York City from 1992–2002, and from 2000 to 2004 served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève in Geneva, Switzerland. Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group "red fish blue fish," and in 2007 assumed the post of Music Director and conductor of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus.
Steven Schick recently released three important publications. His book on solo percussion music, "The Percussionist's Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams," was published by the University of Rochester Press; his recording of "The Mathematics of Resonant Bodies" by John Luther Adams was released by Cantaloupe Music; and, a 3 CD set of the complete percussion music of Iannis Xenakis, made in collaboration with red fish blue fish, was issued by Mode Records.
In February, 2011, Schick was named director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. He replaces Maestro David Milnes who stepped down in 2009.
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