STEIM (STudio for Electro Instrumental Music) is a center for research and development of new musical instruments in the electronic performing arts, located in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Electronic music in STEIM's context is always strongly related to the physical and direct actions of a musician. In this tradition, STEIM supports artists in residence such as composers and performers, but also multimedia and video artists to develop setups which allow for improvisation and performance with individually designed technology.
STEIM has existed since 1969. It was founded by Misha Mengelberg, Louis Andriessen, Peter Schat, Dick Raaymakers, Jan van Vlijmen, Reinbert de Leeuw, and Konrad Boehmer. This group of Dutch composers had fought for the reformation of Amsterdam's feudal music structures; they insisted on Bruno Maderna's appointment as musical director of the Concertgebouw Orchestra and enforced the first public fundings for experimental and improvised electronic music in the Netherlands.  They were offered a budget for their collective multimedia opera "Reconstruction" which was premiered in the Holland Festival in 1969.  The technology used in this opera was then taken to Amsterdam's Prinseneiland which was STEIM's first location. Soon, in 1971, the studio moved to the Groenburgwal in the city center, where there was more space for workshops and concerts. Since 1986, STEIM has been at the Achtergracht in the city center's southern area. Its premises include three studios, a concert hall, hard and software workshops, offices, and a guesthouse for artists in residence.
As a headline for most of STEIM's instrumental developments it can apply that "Touch is crucial in communicating with the new electronic performance art technologies". As in traditional musical instruments, it is believed here that also in contemporary developments the physical touch of a musician contains essential aesthetic factors. These qualities tend to get lost in the non-realtime use of studio technology, in which the process of music production gets rather rational but bodily involved. The Touch philosophy -- which can be considered as STEIM's interpretation of the widely used term interactivity -- theoretically subsumes several stages of STEIM's developments, from the analogue touchable "Crackle" surfaces in the 1970s to today's experimental Gestural MIDI Interfaces.
STEIM is a foundation, financially supported by the Dutch ministry of Culture. It invites international artists in residence of different musical and artistic styles and scenes. Aside from offering support in theoretic and practical development of contemporary musical instruments, STEIM also hosts in-house concerts, exhibitions and workshops. The work in progress of supported artists is presented in open studio events.