Red Dog Ensemble

Will Stackpole

Composer, Recording Engineer, Co-Founder

Headshot of Will Stackpole

Will Stackpole is an American composer of conceptually innovative music. His work has been called "lively" and "charming" by the New York Times and "a unique sound-world...with a constant sense of motion and...delicate mystery." His works have been played across the country by many notable ensembles including the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the New Juilliard Ensemble, and the American Composers Orchestra. He is also accomplished as an electric guitarist, audio engineer, and producer. Stackpole began his musical career performing in rock bands in his home state of New Hampshire and later in Hoboken, New Jersey. Stackpole began writing concert music and quickly developed a unique compositional voice. He spent two years studying composition with Justin Dello Joio while working in New York as a freelance composer and orchestrator for theater, film, and television before continuing his compositional career at the Juilliard School.

Stackpole's music often shows an affinity for vibrant, shifting colors and rich rhythmic ideas. Many of his works contain utilize narrative and immersive compositional techniques to touch on themes particularly relevant to present events, at times even political. ...Ask Questions Later, premiered in 2016 by the NJSO, highlights the inevitable consequences of gun violence by exploring a musical landscape unfolding between an outburst and its impact. His 2018 orchestral work fEED, on the other hand, looks inward at the effects of social media and 24-hour political news on our experience of the world around us through the use of orchestrated "shepard tones" and other auditory effects to illustrate an unending scroll of content. His largest work, L'Abîme, for small ensemble, is a chamber symphony in which the composer depicts the impending dread caused by rising sea levels by gradually incorporating material from Debussy’s La Mer, to greater and greater (and more terrifying) extents.

Stackpole is also the leading scholar on the life and music of Steven Stucky. His dissertation Steven Stucky: Curator, Connoisseur, Craftsman is the most comprehensive resource on the composer’s work to date and was the recipient of an unprecedented special grant for research from the Aaron Copland Fund. Stackpole holds a B.A. in Music and Technology from Stevens Institute of Technology and an M.M. and D.M.A. in Composition from the Juilliard School, where he was the only ever three-time winner of the Juilliard Orchestra Competition. Stackpole’s teachers included Justin Dello Joio, Melinda Wagner, Robert Beaser, and Andy Brick. In addition to his output as a composer, Stackpole's work as a conductor, producer, and audio engineer have led him to work in many different media. He has composed for and designed projects in theater, film, television, and dance. He is currently a lecturer in the Music & Technology program at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ.