Alex Stephenson (b. 1990, Philadelphia, PA) is a composer currently based in Southern California. His music stems from a deep-rooted lyrical impulse 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 heard at Tanglewood, Royaumont, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Composers Conference, the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, and other festivals and venues across the United States and internationally. Recent performances have featured the New Fromm Players, the Flux Quartet, Ensemble Voix Nouvelles (cond. Pierre-AndrĂ© Valade), Miranda Cuckson, members of the Bard College Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program, and the Society for New Music, along with many colleagues and collaborators at UC San Diego. He has been a composition fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, laureate of the composition academy at Royaumont, Fulbright postgraduate scholar in the United Kingdom, winner of the Brian M. Israel Prize, and artist-in-residence at Avaloch Farm Music Institute and Marble House Project.

Alex holds degrees from the University of Chicago, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and the Eastman School of Music. He is currently pursuing a doctorate at the University of California, San Diego. His mentors include Julian Anderson, Robert Morris, Oliver Schneller, and Rand Steiger.

Recent highlights:

  • Cantus composed for and to be 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 at UC San Diego, 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: Alexandra Deis-Lauby