Professor Moe grew up in southern Illinois, then promptly went to both coasts for higher education, first to Princeton University, where he got a BA in 1976, and then to the University of California at Berkeley, where he got an MA followed by a PhD in 1982. After teaching at U.C. Santa Cruz and San Francisco State University, he joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 1989.
He is a composer and a pianist. His compositions, both acoustic and electroacoustic, explore dramatic conflicts of style and culture (high and low, Western and non-Western, low-tech and high-tech, etc.) and play with listener expectations, building strange narratives on topics such as fame, art, eroticism, the Romantic sublime, and social and economic issues. Some of his pieces have an element of theater, pushing the traditional boundaries of the concert hall through video, text, and staging. Both as a composer and performer, he is fascinated by virtuosity, and showcase different flavors of it in solo compositions, concerti, and in concert.