Steven Block was born in New York City on November 5, 1952. He is currently Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley after having served as Chair of the Department of Music at the University of New Mexico for 17 years. As Dean, he is building new Arts programs, including that of the School of Music, from two separate legacy campuses. Block has appeared in the various personae of composer, music theorist, music critic, pianist, and both classical radio and disco d.j., among others. His compositions have been performed worldwide including performances in Australia, Paris, and Poland. His articles as a music theorist and music critic have appeared in such journals and magazines as Perspectives of New Music, Integrales, Music Theory Spectrum, the Journal of Music Theory, the Annual Review of Jazz Studies, Music Library Notes, and High Fidelity.
Block has studied with some of the most innovative composers and theorists in the world including David Stock, a pioneer in the promotion of contemporary music; Robert Morris, one of the leading contemporary music theorists and composers; A. Wayne Slawson, who has led the exploration of timbre as a musical component; and the internationally known and important late composers Franco Donatoni and Luciano Berio.
William Zagorski of Fanfare writes of Block’s orchestral movement Shadows: "His skillful use of tuned percussion gives several passages a gamelanlike quality reminiscent of Messaien. The long-note passages...and their harmonic suspensions are wonderful. I impatiently await the completion of this Symphony."