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GRAMMY-Winning Steven Horowitz Named Executive Director of Technology and Applied Composition Program at SFCM

The award-winning composer comes with more than two decades experience as Audio Director at Nickelodeon, more than six years teaching at San Francisco State University, and more than 34 albums of original music.

February 7, 2024 by Mark Taylor

Critically acclaimed by Designing Music Now as "One of the foremost figures in the field" composer Steven Horowitz is joining the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) as Executive Director of its Technology and Applied Composition (TAC) program. 

The "brilliantly eclectic, eclectically brilliant" (Derk Richardson, KPFA Radio) musician comes to SFCM after 23 years as Audio Director at Nickelodeon where he picked up Webby, Kid Screen and Broadcast Design Awards as well as scoring hundreds of beloved video games. 

"SFCM is one of the premier educational arts institutions in the country. The educational methods and philosophy are closely aligned with my own teaching philosophy, which is based on my career in the industry, building student success in conjunction with equity, diversity, and inclusion—all part of my personal mission to prepare students for the real world," Horowitz said of taking over the position. "I have been very impressed with the TAC program’s visionary leadership over the last decade and I am thrilled to be a part of the school's continued success. Our goal is to break new ground, push the limits of creative expression and move boldly into the future."

Horowitz is well known for his original score to the Academy Award-nominated film Super Size Me. His compositions have also appeared in television series like I Bet you Will and Casino Cinema for MTV Networks. Horowitz was honored with a GRAMMY award in 1996 for his engineering work on the album True Life Blues:the Songs of Bill Monroe. In addition to his  work in dance, film, television, cartoons and video games, Horowitz also has a robust catalog of chamber and concert music. 

Horowitz's experience reaches from the recording studio to the classroom, where as a professor at San Francisco State University for the last six years he has developed a groundbreaking curriculum in music for visual media. Horowitz is also the author of The Essential Guide to Game Audio: The Theory and Practice of Sound for Games on Focal Press, and his newest book The Theory And Practice Of Music For Games was published in January, 2024.

"Horowitz's decades of experience and commitment to music education will take our students to the highest level as they explore the fields of film and game scoring, audio engineering, sound design, and music production," said Dean and Chief Academic Officer Jonas Wright,"This state-of-the-art program will only benefit from a leader who has the hands-on experience and technological know-how to help our students succeed." 

Horowitz studied at the California Institute of the Arts with composers Mel Powell, Morton Subotnick, Micheal Jon Fink and Stephen "Lucky" Mosko. In addition to his teaching at San Francisco State University, he has also lectured at UCSC, AAU, New York University, California Institute of the Arts, and the Berklee College of Music. He currently resides in San Francisco.

First introduced in 2014, TAC is a first-of-its-kind course of study that gives students a direct path into the worlds of film and game scoring, sound design, media composition, and other rewarding musical avenues. Alumni include film and game scorers, television commercial composers, successful performing artists, and working media professionals at companies like Sony, Ubisoft, and Electronic Arts.

Learn more about studying Technology and Applied Composition at SFCM.