Alex StephensonAlex Stephenson (b. 1990, Philadelphia) is a composer currently based in Southern California. His music, praised as “masterfully orchestrated” and of “sonic beauty” (San Diego Union-Tribune), stems from a deep-rooted lyrical impulse, an acute interest in the exploration of acoustic structure, and a desire to engage in dialogue with other forms of artistic expression and aspects of human experience. He has created work in a variety of acoustic, electroacoustic, and interdisciplinary contexts and seeks out forms that give rise to a sense of uncanny logic and urgent communication.

Alex’s music has been presented at and/or commissioned by the Tanglewood, Royaumont, Santa Fe, Breckenridge, Composers Conference, and New York City Electroacoustic festivals, and other festivals and venues across the United States and internationally. Recent and upcoming collaborators include the New Fromm Players, Flux Quartet, Hausmann Quartet, Duo Axis, HOCKET, Miranda Cuckson, Ensemble Voix Nouvelles (cond. Pierre-André Valade), Palimpsest (cond. Steven Schick), Bard College Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program (dir. Dawn Upshaw), and the Society for New Music, among others. 

Alex is a PhD candidate at the University of California, San Diego, where he studies with Rand Steiger. He previously studied with Julian Anderson as a Fulbright postgraduate scholar at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and with Oliver Schneller and Robert Morris at the Eastman School of Music, where he earned a master’s degree. He holds an undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Chicago.

Recent highlights:

  • Bloom wins the Steven R. Gerber Second Prize in the 2020 League of Composers/ISCM Composition Competition
  • Bloom named a prizewinner in the Hausmann Quartet Quarantine Composers Competition – A 6 feet apart production (more info)
  • Reflection commissioned by HOCKET for the #What2020SoundsLike miniatures project (video premiere, more info)
  • Forgotten Song commissioned by the Breckenridge Music Festival (premiere TBA – postponed due to COVID-19)
  • Bloom wins the 2020 Charles Ives Music Festival Call for Scores (more info)
  • Cantus commissioned for and premiered at the Conrad Prebys Presidential Chair Concert at UC San Diego, featuring Palimpsest and Steven Schick, January 2020 (review)
  • Bloom commissioned by the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and premiered by the Flux Quartet, August 2019  (more info)
  • Soif premiered by Miranda Cuckson, May 2019
  • calling, crying performed on the Bard College Conservatory’s “First Songs” programs at National Sawdust, NYC, curated by Dawn Upshaw and Shawn Jaeger, April 2019 (more info)
  • The Sound of the Land commissioned for and premiered at the Festival de Royaumont “Voix Nouvelles” weekend, September 2018 (more info)
  • Composition fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, June-August 2018
  • Finalist designations in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (2016, 2018, 2020) and BMI Student Composer Awards (2017)

Photo credit: Farshid Bazmandegan