B i o g r a p h y

Stella Sung

composer of music for concert ,

ballet, opera, film, and mulit-media

Photo by Jacquephoto

            As a national and international award-winning composer, Stella Sung's compositions are performed throughout the United States and abroad.  


As a recipient of a "Music Alive" award, a three-year award sponsored by New Music USA, the League of American Orchestras, ASCAP, the Aaron Copland Fund, and the Andrew Mellon Foundation, Dr. Sung recently served as Composer-in-Residence (2013-16) with the Dayton (OH) Performing Arts Alliance (Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Opera).  During the course of her three-year residency, she created new works for orchestra, ballet, and opera. The DPAA was one of five, nationally selected cohort recipients of the "Music Alive" award residencies, during which composers and orchestras collaborated to create new, innovative works that engaged communities and artists during the residencies.  

Dr. Sung was the first Composer-in-Residence for the Orlando (FL) Philharmonic Orchestra, (2008-2011), and continues to serve as Composer-in-Residence for Dance Alive National Ballet (Gainesville, FL ).


Since 2003, Sung has been using digital and multi-media applications in her concert and symphonic compositions, music for dance and ballet, and recent operas that include the use of advanced projection techniques and other stage design concepts using technology. With her current orchestral work. Oceana, she is working on creating an interactive virtual reality experience and has developed an interactive app to be used during concert performances (www.oceanasymphonymusic.com).

Current projects include The Secret River, with Pulitzer Prize winning librettist Mark Campbell, commissioned by Opera Orlando (premiere Dec. 2021), and film score for a new film by documentary film-maker Lisa Mills. 

Stella Sung is the recipient of the 2007-2010 Phi Kappa Phi National Artists Award, as well as a 2009-10 "Meet the Composer" award. She is a two-time winner of a Florida Individual Artists Fellowship, sponsored by the Division of Cultural Affairs for the State of Florida, as well as the 2005 recipient of a Florida Artists Enhancement award. She was a Fellow at the prestigious MacDowell Colony, and was the recipient of the Norton Stevens Fellowship. Other awards have been from the National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, Meet the Composer, the German Ministry of Culture, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), and the Division of Cultural Affairs of the State of Florida.


Dr. Sung is also an active composer for film, and was the composer and music supervisor for the score for the full-length documentary film, Voices in the Clouds, which received critical acclaim in national and international film festivals. Her music was featured in the short animation film, Atlas' Revenge, (based upon Sung's orchestral work of the same title), which was selected as the First Place winner at the 2010 SIGGRAPH conference (Time and Space category).  She wrote the score for a new animated short film, Farmer Glorp, produced by the Character Animation students at the University of Central Florida (Class of 2016). The film was premiered in May, 2016, with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra playing live at the Schuster Center in Dayton, OH, and is currently being screened at film festivals. She recently completed the score for Marching Forward, a new  award-winning documentary film by Lisa Mills, tracing the performances of two high school bands from Orlando, FL,  at the 1964 World’s Fair with the Civil Rights movement as a backdrop to the film.


Premieres, performances, and commissions of Dr. Sung's work have included compositions for world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the German Ministry of Culture (Rhineland-Pfalz), the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra (Dayton, OH), the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (Jacksonville, FL), the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra (Orlando, FL), the Akron Symphony Orchestra (Akron, OH), the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra (Gainesville, FL), the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra (Orlando, FL), the Florida Young Artists Orchestra (Orlando, FL), the Etowah Youth Orchestra (Gadsden, AL), the Azure Ensemble (NY), Dance Alive National Ballet (State touring ballet company of Florida), the Lyric Arts Trio (Kansas City, KA), saxophonist Claude Delangle (Conservatoire de Paris), guitarist Andrea Vettoretti (Rome, Italy), guitarist Eladio Scharrón (Orlando, FL), flautist Donna Wissinger (FL), the PRISM Saxophone Quartet (NY, NY), the Rollins College (Winter Park, FL), the 2000 Alabama All-State Festival Orchestra (Tuscaloosa, AL)., and from the Buffet Crampon Clarinet  company (Jacksonville, FL).


Major concert venues have included  the West Lawn of the U.S Capitol (Washington, D.C), Carnegie Hall (New York, NY), Symphony Hall (Boston, MA), the Sydney Opera House (Sydney, Australia), the Schauspielhaus (Berlin, Germany), the Phillips Collection (Washington, D.C), Merkin Hall (New York, NY), the Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Performing Arts (Jacksonville, FL), the Jacoby Concert Hall (Jacksonville, FL), the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre (Orlando, FL), the Curtis M. Phillips Center for Performing Arts (Gainesville, FL), the E.J. Thomas Center for the Performing Arts (Akron, OH), the Chrysler Center for Performing Arts (Norfolk,VA), the Van Weisel  Hall (Sarasotra,FL), the Schuster Center (Dayton, OH), the Boston "Esplanade" Hatch Shell (Boston, MA),  and other major concert venues.


Several documentary films have been made about Sung's work including a film by award-winning documentary film-maker Lisa Mills, which captures the world premiere performance of Sung's large orchestral work, The Circle Closes (2010). This film has garnered a Silver Medal Award from the 2011 Park City Film Music Festival (Park City, Utah), and a 2011 Bronze Telly Award.  Sung's highly acclaimed composition for orchestra, Rockwell Reflections, was excerpted and made into a five-minute film also by Lisa Mills, and was selected for the Cultural Arts Award at the 2009 International MOFILM short film festival. Another award-winning documentary film about Sung's Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra by film-maker Aaron Hosé, was selected for two Telly Awards (2007). 


The music of Stella Sung is published by the Theodore Presser Music Publishers (USA), Editions Henry Lemoine (France), Southern Music Company (Keiser, USA), and Sonic Star Music Productions (USA), and is currently available on Koch International Recordings, Naxos, Cambria Master Recordings, Sinfonica (Italy), Eroica Master Recordings, MSR, and Albany Records. Sung's compositions have been broadcast on radio stations world-wide including WGBH-Boston, WNYC-New York, KING FM radio (Seattle, WA), the Bavarian Radio (Munich,Germany), the Swedish National Radio, and Radio Vaticana (Rome, Italy).


Sung holds the Bachelor of Music degree (piano performance) from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), the Master of Fine Arts degree (Composition) from the University of Florida, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree (piano performance) from the University of Texas at Austin. Her piano teachers included Theodore Lettvin, Louis Nagel, Gary Wolf, and David Renner.  She studied composition with John D. White, Edward Troupin, Donald Grantham, and Eugene Kurtz. Dr. Sung has been recognized by the University of Florida as a Distinguished Alumna, an Alumna of Outstanding Achievement, and has also received a Distinguished Achievement Award from UF. 


Dr. Sung is director of the Center for Research and Education in Arts, Technology, and Entertainment (CREATE) at the University of Central Florida, and is Professor of Music in UCF's School of Visual Arts and Design (Digital Media), College of Arts and Humanities. Dr. Sung holds a  "Pegasus" Professorship, the highest honor awarded to distinguished faculty members at the University of Central Florida, and also holds an Endowed "University Trustees Chair" professorship.