His patients and medical students know Dr. Scott Steidl as an ophthalmologist who specializes in diseases of the retina, but classical music lovers will now know him as an excellent composer who has just released a new compact disc. Scott M. Steidl, M.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, has released a CD of music, performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Sedares and produced by Albany Records. Dr. Steidl has a D.M.A. (Doctor of Musical Arts) from the Juilliard School in New York City, and has been composing music for the past 20 years.
Growing up in Minneapolis, Dr. Steidl studied piano, bassoon, and saxophone, and developed an interest in playing jazz. As a student at Brown University, he studied composition and continued his activities in the field of jazz as director of the Brown University Stage Band. Dr. Steidl then earned his masters and doctoral degrees in composition at The Juilliard School. In the meantime, he also developed an interest in medicine.
"I became interested in medicine because of a life-long fascination with human biology and a desire to find a more direct way of offering help to people in need," he said.
At age 29, Dr. Steidl entered Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York and went on to receive special training at Harvard Medical School's Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Dr. Steidl is director of the Retinal Diseases Division in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and University of Maryland Medical Center.
For Dr. Steidl, becoming a full time musician was not an ideal option. "I felt I needed to work in medicine because of my strong interest in the field," says Steidl. "By pursuing medicine, I have the security and clarity needed to work on my music."
Dr. Steidl's musical work has earned him critical acclaim and a number of awards, including two full scholarships to Juilliard, the Alexander Gretchaninoff Scholarship, the Irving Berlin Prize in Memory of Cole Porter, the Sigvald Thompson composition commission, and two American Society of Authors Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) grants. He has received commissions and has performed in the United States and abroad.
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