Sten Hostfalt

Sten Hostfalt

Instrument: Guitar | Location: New York City

Sten Hostfalt is a leading innovative guitarist and composer working on the New York music scene of today. He performs with some of the most original and unique voices in modern music and has been called 'highly exceptional' by legendary American music icon Jimmy Giuffre and 'virtuosic' by musical innovator Joe Maneri.
—Jon Damian, Fresh Music: Explorations with The Creative Workshop Ensemble For Musicians, Artists and Teachers

Updated: September 3, 2021

Born: December 14, 1962

Acclaimed guitar virtuoso, composer, bandleader, veteran music educator, producer and record label proprietor Sten Hostfalt's four decade contribution to the global improvised music scene at leading concert stages, alongside some of the worlds most innovative musicians, has via longtime innovative work with the parameter of pitch and self-invented techniques to interpret microtones earned him recognition for contributing to the expansion of the vocabulary of the guitar, and to music of our time.

Released on the Sonus Rex label, his ninth album as a leader 'Four Pieces For Microtonal Guitar/Transformations' including Cuatros Piezas Para Microtonal Guitar commissioned by Fundació ACA for a 2014 solo premiere performance at the XXXV Encontre de Compositors at Pilar i Joan Miro' Palma de Mallorca, Islas Baleares, Spain celebrates eighteen years of recordings of original Microtonal work. Along with music composed for 2010-2011 solo concerts at New York City´s Symphony Space, and the 2014 microtonal large ensemble work Dimensional States. All, following the 2002 solo recording 29 Pieces for The Microtonal Guitar Live at Knitting Factory New York, critically regarded a seminal work for microtonal music on the guitar.

Sten Hostfalt was introduced on the New York jazz scene through mid-1990's performances, recordings and collaborations with mentors, legendary icons and pioneers of American music Jimmy Giuffre and Paul Bley, the latter of whom initiated Hostfalt's debute recording as a leader, Eternity Check. Concerts with masters of jazz Gary Burton, Peter Erskine, Clare Fischer, Rob McConnell and Bobby Shew followed apprenticeship in jazz orchestras led by Herb Pomeroy, Phil Wilson and George Russell. As a guitarist, featured soloist and member of the first edition of Guillermo Klein's large ensemble, Big Van he appeared alongside new jazz generation luminaries Mark Turner, Chris Cheek, Seamus Blake, Melvin Butler, Aaron Goldberg and Jeff Ballard weekly during the inception of influential and subsequently famed New York City jazz club Smalls.

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'The total immersion of a miniverse of finely etched detail taken to glorious extremes, 29 Pieces for The Microtonal Guitar is among the most riveting explorations of the microtonal world ever recorded. It's fine focus and beauty of detail puts the cycle in a class with John Cage's exquisite 'Sonatas and Preludes for Prepared Piano' - Larry Cosentino, SIGNAL TO NOISE MAGAZINE

Genuinely Innovative-May Be Considered Groundbreaking Don Williamson JAZZ REVIEW Inimitable PM NYC / PAPER MAGAZINE Impressive, Intense TIME OUT NY Sten Hostfalt Takes The More Rigid Confines Of The Guitar and Transforms it, Showing Just How Far an Instrument Can Be Bent and Altered to Meet a More Experimental and Adventurous Need - Taking You On A Journey To A Place Where Anything is Possible John Kelman ALL ABOUT JAZZ Another Angle On Exploring Tone Colors That You Will Not Want To Miss Grego Applegate Edwards CADENCE MAGAZINE Highly Logical in A Completely Different Way JAZZ NOW Virtuosic For Sure Joe Maneri Highly Exceptional Jimmy Giuffre

Primary Instrument



New York City

Willing to teach

Advanced only


Sten Hostfalt (b. Lulea, Sweden 1962) is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer and guitar virtuoso with over 30 years of documented activity alongside leading names in music worldwide. And a veteran music educator, teaching professionally since 1985.

A former faculty member of the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, and currently, since 2009, a faculty member of NY Jazz Academy, Mr. Hostfalt has served as an applied lessons instructor in Guitar, Bass, Piano, and Electronic Music at Columbia University's Teachers College, and via the Office of Continuing Education at Queensborough Community College, City University of New York*. Disclaimer: Sten Hostfalt's NYC Guitar Studio is not affiliated with Queensborough Community College, or The City University of New York.

He holds a Masters Degree in Music Education from Columbia University's Teacher's College, a Master of Music Degree in jazz Composition, and a Graduate Diploma in Jazz Performance from New England Conservatory, as an NEC honors emissary, as well as a Bachelor of Music Degree in Professional Music from Berklee College of Music with honors and as an Outstanding Musicianship Recipient.

With numerous students active as professional musicians and educators in their own right. Sten Hostfalt conducts his own New York City creative music studio, that while catering to students in a wide variety of styles and on all levels of proficiency ages 9 and up, also is one of few facilities anywhere offering systematic studies of the application and interpretation of microtonal music.

Sten's Guitar Studio (formerly NYC Guitar Studio),
6072 Madison Street Apt 5K
Ridgewood NY 11385
email: sten[AT]stensguitarstudio[DOT]com
phone: (1) 347-546-0092

Clinic/Workshop Information

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