His compositions are clearly influenced by his performance background in jazz fusion and progressive rock, yet firmly rooted in the contemporary classical tradition. The Brno Philharmonic recording of his Lincoln Highway Suite was awarded second place in the 2020 American Prize's Ernst Bacon Award. Fanfare magazine called it a "brilliant piece of Americana. . .a piece of inspiration and skill," the "orchestration is brilliantly managed," and "Stolz clearly has a fine repository of [melodies] in his back pocket." His flute piece Princess Ka'iulani was published in Society of Composers, Inc. Journal of Scores (vol. 51) and SCI's CD series (vol. 30, titled Modes). Stolz's other works may be heard on releases from Ablaze, ESM, Six Strings Sounds, and Tributary Music. He has been commissioned by the Alturas Duo, Cello Times Two, CCSU Chamber Players, Las Vegas Academy Jazz Ensemble, Las Vegas Music Festival Orchestra, Southeast Missouri State University Department of Theatre and Dance, Spartanburg Philharmonic Espresso Series, SUNY-Stony Brook, Synchronix, Terminus Ensemble, and several solo performers.
Stolz's compositional voice is clearly influenced by his performance background in jazz fusion and progressive rock, yet firmly rooted in the contemporary classical tradition. His compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Canada, South America, and across Europe, including festivals and conferences such as the Academie Internationale d'Ete de Nice (FRANCE), Suolahti International Summer Music Festival (FINLAND), International Clarinet Association's ClarinetFest, International Tuba/Euphonium Conference, Las Vegas International New Music Festival, Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, North American Saxophone Alliance National Conference, National Flute Association Convention, Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI) National Conference, College Music Society (CMS) National Conference, National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors conference, Oregon Bach Festival, Belvedere Chamber Music Festival, Electroacoustic Juke Joint, Electronic Music Midwest, eXtensible Electric Guitar Festival, Las Vegas Music Festival, University of Alabama-Huntsville New Music Festival, Music Today Festival, and several regional CMS and SCI conferences. Large ensembles that have performed his compositions include the Brno Philharmonic, Clinton Symphony, Dubuque Symphony, DuPage Symphony, Joliet Symphony, Los Angeles Symphonic Winds, Omaha Symphonic Winds, Sandhills Symphony, Shoreline Symphony, Spartanburg Philharmonic, and several college bands and orchestras.
As a scholar, Stolz has published several writings and regularly presents at academic conferences. His book Experiencing Black Sabbath: A Listener's Companion was published in 2017, his article on Sabbath and music tourism published in Riffs Journal in 2019, his essay on the progressive rock elements of Black Sabbath was published in the book Prog Rock in Europe in 2016, and his essays on Black Sabbath, Genesis, Rush, and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were published in The 100 Greatest Bands of All Time in 2015. His article "Teaching Jazz Improvisation Using Macro-Analytical Techniques" was published in vol. 4 of Musical Insights in 2015. Stolz has given papers at the First, Second, and Third International Conferences on Progressive Rock, College Music Society International Conference, the Second International Conference on Analytical Approaches to World Music, Home of Metal Symposium, Society for Music Theory National Conference, Society of Composers Inc. National Conference, two College Music Society National Conferences, MACRO Musicians' Workshop, Music Theory Midwest, South Central Society for Music Theory, several regional CMS conferences, and at Queen's University, The Hartt School, and UNC-Asheville.
Stolz is also a drum set performer, working with notable bands such as Swinging Popsicle, Halloween Town, and Art Rock Circus. He appears on the Johnny Pate 80th birthday concert CD with jazz greats Ron Carter, Phil Woods, Monty Alexander, Kenny Burrell and several others. His solo CD Nolan Stolz Rock Orchestra features prog-rock arrangements of "classical" works, which received excellent reviews internationally. He appears on Halloween Town's album Zafra Ct., which features Ryan Pardey, Wes Hines, two members of Louis XIV (Jason Hill & Brian Karscig) and three members of The Killers (Dave Keuning, Tommy Marth, and Mark Stoermer). He also appears on Art Rock Circus's Tell a Vision, the jazz-rock fusion album Point of View by Coalition, and several other bands' and solo artists' albums. Growing up in Las Vegas in the 1990s, Stolz began freelancing as a jazz drummer while still in high school. At only 17 years old, he joined the retro swing band Dirty Martinis, working regularly at the lounge of former Las Vegas Hilton. Until his departure in 2004, Stolz worked with some of Las Vegas's finest jazz musicians (e.g., Joe Lano, JoBelle, Walt Blanton, Dennis Mellen, etc.), backed up several out-of-town jazz musicians (e.g., Carl Saunders, Jiggs Whigham, John Clark, etc.), played in the Arizona-based rockabilly band Chuck E. Bumps and the Crocodiles, played in pit orchestras for musicals, did studio work, and subbed with a variety of jazz, rock, pop, and classical ensembles.
Dr. Stolz did his undergraduate work in composition and jazz studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and went to graduate school at the University of Oregon and at The Hartt School. As a graduate student, he taught in the composition and music history departments at Hartt and in the theory and jazz departments at UO. His composition teachers were Virko Baley, Robert Carl, David Crumb, Robert Kyr, Larry Alan Smith and Ken Steen, and his theory teachers included Jack Boss, Steve Larson, David Macbride, and Michael Schiano. He studied drums with John Abraham, Chris Benham, Patrick Bowen, Gary Hobbs, Steve Houghton, Joe LaBarbera, and Joe Malone and studied jazz with Stefan Karlsson, Toby Koenigsberg, Dave Loeb, Joe Lano, Steve Owen, Bruce Paulson, Tom Warrington and Rocky Winslow.
Contact Nolan at: email@example.com