Steven Kazuo Takasugi, an associate of the Harvard University Department of Music and the managing director of its Summer Composition Institute, is a composer of music involving the recording, collecting, and archiving of acoustic sound samples into vast databases of individual, performed instances, subjected to both sound processing and computer-assisted algorithmic composition and reintegrated into the context of live performance on stage, both in the concert hall and in music-theater settings.
At the Radcliffe Institute, Takasugi is composing his first piano concerto, R.S. in Cody, an homage to the work of Robert Schumann, not merely as a meditation on the latter’s famous A-minor masterwork of the same genre, but far more as a contemplation on the youthful inspiration of the horse in the music (both as metaphor for stridency, gallop, and 19th-century progress, as well as transcendental euphoria associated with bipolar mania). The connection between Schumann and William Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, may seem odd at first, but the latter’s horse shows bring these two disparate 19th-century figures together in the idea of "reenactment," chiefly via one’s earlier youthful heroics.
Takasugi completed his master’s/PhD at the University of California, San Diego, and his work has been performed extensively worldwide. He is the recipient of many awards, including a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and an artist residency from the Japan Foundation, and a renowned teacher of composition associated with master classes and academies in Singapore, Stuttgart, and Tel Aviv, as well as in Cambridge, Massachusetts.