Alex StephensonComposer Alex Stephenson was born in Philadelphia and is 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 performances have featured the New Fromm Players, Flux Quartet, Miranda Cuckson, Steven Schick, Ensemble Voix Nouvelles (cond. Pierre-André Valade), Bard College Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program (dir. Dawn Upshaw), Society for New Music, and many close colleagues and collaborators at UC San Diego, among others. Honors include a Tanglewood Music Center composition fellowship, US-UK Fulbright scholarship, the Brian M. Israel Prize, and artist residencies at Avaloch Farm Music Institute and Marble House Project.

Alex is pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego, and has studied with Julian Anderson, Robert Morris, Oliver Schneller, and Rand Steiger. 

Recent highlights:

  • Cantus commissioned for and premiered at the Conrad Prebys Presidential Chair Concert at UC San Diego, featuring Palimpsest and Steven Schick, January 2020
  • Bloom commissioned by the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and premiered by the Flux Quartet, August 2019
  • 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
  • The Sound of the Land commissioned for and premiered at the Festival de Royaumont “Voix Nouvelles” weekend, September 2018
  • Composition fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, June-August 2018
  • Finalist designations in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (2016, 2018) and BMI Student Composer Awards (2017)

Photo credit: Farshid Bazmandegan