James Stephenson

One of the more versatile composers living today.

Commissions include: Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Ballet, St. Louis Symphony, The Boston Pops, The “President’s Own” US Marine Band,as well as OPERA, EDUCATIONAL, and music for all ages and skill-levels.

Larry Rachleff; Rhode Island Philharmonic Music Director

“It is a pleasure to say that our premiere of Jim’s violin piece was a great success with the Rhode Island Philharmonic in every way…Jim was so wonderful to work with. He is a real talent with terrific ears, ideas, and the most wonderful manner!”

Recent Releases

new works and arrangements

Browse Jim’s Full Composition Library

Charlotte Craff; Manager of Artistic Operations, Utah Symphony

“I just wanted to send you a note to say that your arrangements went off in spectacular fashion for our Family Holiday program at the end of December… your charts brought a fresh excitement to the familiar pieces. We really enjoyed it.”

Upcoming Conducting Engagements

As a conductor, Jim offers a wide variety of options, that can lead to more efficient rehearsal and intimate collaboration. Whether premiering a new orchestral work, or directing several works in a festival/college-residency setting, or simply leading a non-Stephenson program, he offers a composer’s insight that otherwise might go untapped, creating a rewarding experience for both performers and audience-members.

Additionally, with his experience and large catalog as an arranger, you can have Jim conduct your themed Pops concert, and bring all of his own arrangements/original works, making for a complete package deal!

Jim standing under train tracks smiling
Oregon Ballet Theatre - Conducting Residency & Performances of Wooden Dimes
Oregon Ballet Theatre - Conducting Residency & Performances of Wooden Dimes
Oregon Ballet Theatre - Conducting Residency & Performances of Wooden Dimes
Oregon Ballet Theatre - Conducting Residency & Performances of Wooden Dimes

Dr. Scott Meredith; Associate Professor of Trumpet, University of Wyoming

I can’t thank you enough for the joy that you have brought to me and my fellow trumpeters (not to mention the non trumpeters too) with exquisiteness of your music and musicianship! You…are nothing but class!

Upcoming Residencies

Increasingly in demand as a college guest lecturer, Jim has appeared at many colleges and universities across the United States, where he presents talks, master-classes, coachings, and lessons in group or individual settings.

In recent years, these appearances include Ball State University, Indiana University, Indiana Wesleyan University, Kennesaw State University, North Dakota State University, SUNY-Fredonia, University of Massachusetts/Amherst, University of Michigan, University of North Texas, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and Wyoming University.

Residencies are tailored to each institution’s needs but they commonly entail the following:

  • Conducting the organization’s ensemble(s)
  • Masterclasses/lectures with students
  • Public/private events with donors and/or board members
  • Pre/Post concert talks, engagement
  • Private composition lessons (may require additional fees)
Texas A&M Commerce - Composer Residency and performance of 'Symphony No. 4'
Mar 3 - Mar 5, 2024

University of Michigan - Composer Residency
Mar 11 - Mar 14, 2024

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra - Earshot Readings Mentor Composer
Apr 15 - Apr 16, 2024

Mentor Composers Jessie Montgomery (an EarShot alumnus), James Stephenson, with Stilian Kirov, Gibb Music Director of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Stilian Kirov Featured Artists and Works: Sepehr Pirasteh: Before Dawn Daixuan Ai: Silent Theater Osnat Netzer: Common Ground‍ Chris Neiner: ‍Many Universes

North Dakota State University - Composer residency
Apr 24 - Apr 27, 2024