Steven Stucky, who was raised in Abilene and graduated from Baylor University, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for his Second Concerto, which was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where Stucky was composer-in-residence. In 2008, the Dallas Symphony premiered a 70-minute work it had commissioned, called ‘August 4, 1964.’ The oratorio by Stucky and librettist Gene Scheer (who also wrote the opera ‘Moby-Dick’) was about Lyndon Johnson.
On that day, Johnson had to face two of the biggest crises that shaped his presidency: the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi and the supposed attack on American ships in the Gulf of Tonkin by North Vietnamese torpedo boats. The DSO Live recording of the oratorio, conducted by Jaap van Zweden, was nominated for a Grammy for ‘best contemporary classical composition.’
According to the New York Times, Stucky died from an aggressive form of brain cancer and died at his home in Ithaca, NY.