Biographical / Historical
Gregory Kosteck was born in 1937 in Plainfield, New Jersey to Ukranian immigrant parents. He attended the University of Maryland for his Bachelor's in Music (1959) before going to the University of Michigan for graduate studies. There, he received his Masters of Music (1961) and Doctor of Musical Arts (1964), and also met his future wife Nancy Bender Kostek. As a graduate student, Kosteck received the Horace Rackham Fellowship, the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, and a Fulbright Fellowship for post-doctoral study in the Netherlands. In 1964-65 he was awarded a Ford Foundation Resident Artist Fellowship for a residency in the Norwalk, Connecticut school system through the Music Educators National Conference's Contemporary Music Project for Creativity in Music Education, Composers in Public Schools Program.
Kosteck was winner of successive prizes included the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds International Prize (Italy) (1965), Prix Internationale Reine Elizabeth de Belgique (Belgium) (1969), Concours Quatuor au Cordes Prix Internationale Liège (Belgium) (1972), Oscar Espla International Composition Award (Spain) (1976), an ISCM Award (1976), Harvey Gaul Opera Prize (1977), Costa Rica International Festival of Orchestral Music (1978), New York State Arts Council Award (1980), Wienawski International Composers' Competition (Poland) (1981) and an ASCAP Special Award (1982). He also received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1976.
Kosteck's music has been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Chamber & Symphony Orchestras, Polish National Radio Orchestra, Leningrad Philharmonic, Juneau Symphony Orchestra, Belgian National Radio Orchestra, Amadeus String Quartet, Manhattan String Quartet, Concord String Quartet, and Claremont String Quartet, among others. A brief glance at Kosteck's catalogue reveals a large number of compositions. Very few of his works have been recorded. Quite a few were published, of which some are still in print, including the Dutch Fantasy for Cello, Summer Music for Tenor Saxophone, Oboe and Clarinet, Mini-Variations for Tenor Saxophone and Piano, Counterpoint for Percussion Quartet and the Piano Sonata No. 2. Many of his unpublished manuscripts have been located, but the whereabouts of at least thirty-five other scores are still unknown.
In 1977, Dr. Kosteck retired from academia, and spent several years in New York as a freelance composer and teacher, and moved to Florida in 1987. His compositional pace appears to have slowed in the late 1970s and virtually stopped by the mid-1980s, apart from a handful of pieces dating from 1983-84 and the Violin Concerto No. 2 and Piano Quintet, both dated 1986. Little is known for certain about this period of his life, but it is believed that by 1978 he had already developed the illness that led to his passing on December 27, 1991, at the age of 54.