Pianist and composer John Musto was born in Brooklyn and received his earliest musical training from his father, a jazz guitarist. Self-taught as a composer, Musto studied piano with Seymour Lipkin and Paul Jacobs. He was a finalist for the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for his orchestral song cycle Dove Sta Amore and was awarded an Emmy for his score for the documentary film Into the Light. In 1999, he won another Emmy for his music to the documentary Brick City Lessons and was composer-in-residence at the Vail Festival. An evening of his works—including the world premieres of his song cycle The Book of Uncommon Prayer, for piano and vocal quartet, and a clarinet sextet commissioned by clarinetist David Krakauer—was presented in 2001 at Columbia University’s Miller Theater. As a pianist, Musto is sought after as a soloist and accompanist, often performing his own works, and he has made numerous recordings. From 1992 to 1994, he served as new music coordinator for the New York Festival of Song and has been a visiting professor at Brooklyn College and a guest lecturer at Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music. Musto currently is coordinator of the D.M.A. program in Music Performance at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York.
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