Haralabos [Harry] Stafylakis

Composer | Professor | Producer | Guitarist

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Photo by Moo Jae / Into the Story


New York City-based, JUNO-nominated composer
Haralabos [Harry] Stafylakis (b. 1982) hails from Montreal, Canada. "Dreamy yet rhythmic" (NY Times), with a “terrible luminosity” and “ferociously expressive” (Times Colonist), his concert music is “an amalgamation of the classical music tradition and the soul and grime of heavy metal” (I Care If You Listen). With an intimate background in progressive metal and traditional Greek music, Stafylakis has developed a unique conception of musical temporality and rhythm, infusing his compositions with a propulsive vitality that “favors doomsday chords and jackhammer rhythms” (The New Yorker).

Since 2016, Stafylakis is the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra's Composer-In-Residence and Co-Curator of the WSO's Winnipeg New Music Festival. His works have been performed by orchestras including the Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Ottawa, Regina, Québec, Victoria, PEI, Spokane, Stamford, Longueuil, FSU, and Greek Youth Symphony Orchestras, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Orchestre Classique de Montréal, and Israel Chamber Orchestra.

He has collaborated with artists and ensembles including Animals As Leaders, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Roomful of Teeth, JACK Quartet, Bent Knee, Decoda Ensemble, ShoutHouse, Raphael Weinroth-Browne, Contemporaneous, Vicky Chow, Hard Rubber Orchestra, Alexandre Da Costa, and Philippe Sly, among others.

His works have been featured at venues and festivals around the world, including Carnegie Hall and the NY Philharmonic Biennial. In 2018–19 he collaborated with progressive metal pioneers Animals As Leaders on the symphonic adaptation of their music for metal band & orchestra, and in 2020–21 collaborated with Courtney Swain and members of Bent Knee and ShoutHouse on the prog metal & chamber music fusion dontwaitforme. Hard Rubber Orchestra’s 2022 album Iguana earned Stafylakis a JUNO nomination for his metal–big band fusion composition Source Code, featuring the composer on guitars.

Stafylakis’s 2023 album Calibrating Friction (New Amsterdam Records) has garnered recognition from progressive metal/rock and classical media alike for its deeply integrated fusion of metal and classical idioms, and is nominated for the 2024 JUNO Awards’ Instrumental Album of the Year. Produced in collaboration with Adam Pietrykowski (Van Tilburg), it features an all-star roster of musicians including guitarist Javier Reyes (Mestís, Animals as Leaders), cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne (Leprous), pianist Vicky Chow (Band On A Can All-Stars), and violinist/violist Fung Chern Hwei (Seven)Suns), among others. It has been called “an album of the year candidate” (Avant Music News), “a genuinely perfect album. A masterpiece” (Bearded Gentlemen Music), and a “style [that] can change the course of prog metal and perhaps music itself” (The Progressive Subway).

Other recent recordings featuring his music include albums by the Norwegian Radio Orchestra & Miguel Harth-Bedoya (Naxos), Jenny Lin (Sono Luminus), the Cicchillitti-Cowan Duo (Analekta), Patrick Kearney (Contrastes), and the Hard Rubber Orchestra (Redshift).

His music has been recognized with the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP’s Leonard Bernstein Award, SOCAN’s Classical Composer of the Year Award, four SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers, and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, FACTOR, SSHRC, and New Music USA. He serves on the board of directors of GroundSwell (Winnipeg), is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre, and a founding member of the NYC composer collective ICEBERG New Music.

Stafylakis holds degrees from McGill University and The Graduate Center, City University of New York. He lectures at the City College of New York (CUNY) and Purchase College Conservatory of Music (SUNY), and has been a guest lecturer at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. His research examines the conception of rhythm and meter in progressive metal.


current as of Feb. 07, 2024

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