Steve Hoey, CalArts alum (Music MFA 98) passed away on Feb. 16, 2022. He was a brilliant composer, an excellent flutist, and a lover of all things in the recorder world. He earned an A.B. magna cum laude degree from Harvard University, MPhil from Oxford University, an MFA from California Institute of the Arts (where he also served as a faculty member for two years before relocating to San Diego to pursue his doctoral studies), and a Ph.D. from University of California at San Diego.
An accomplished musician, he studied with Pulitzer Prize–winning faculty member Mel Powell and Stephen Mosko at CalArts, as well as Distinguished Professor Chinary Ung at UC San Diego. Steve won the Dutilleux Prize for International Composition for his solo piano work, Artifact I, and was awarded the Charles Ives Scholarship from The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2006. Steve received the Thomas Nee Commission from the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra, and his work Five Rivers was premiered by the orchestra. In recent years, he participated as a board member of San Diego’s Villa Musica, a nonprofit music organization, because of his passion for creating, teaching, and sharing music with others. He fully supported Villa Musica’s mission to provide the opportunity to everyone in our communities to learn, perform, and experience the joy of music.
Professionally, Steve was portfolio manager of technology startup companies, incubating at EvoNexus, Southern California’s leading non-profit startup technology incubator with locations in San Diego and Irvine. Previously, Steve spent 11 years at CONNECT, a non-profit tech and life sciences accelerator in San Diego. Most recently Steve served as vice president of the Springboard Accelerator Program and Innovation Research at CONNECT. Steve was also a researcher, author, and speaker on innovation and economic development.
Steve was loved and admired by his musical communities at UC San Diego and at CalArts, and throughout the Southern California region. His music made an impact on generations of students and colleagues. And so did his cooking! He loved to cook and to entertain, as well as fine dining and fine wines. Apparently he taught the CalArts Music School how to make the Christmas eggnog every year. He was an incredibly generous, kind, and loving person, with an absolutely brilliant mind spanning multiple fields. He will be missed by so many. His music and our memories will live on. Rest in peace, Steve.
— Contributed by Dr. Rachel Evan Rudich
Hal Blaine Chair in Musical Performance
The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts