James Stephenson

“Stephenson is a composer of real talent.”
~ Minnesota Star Tribune

Current Projects

Solo Concerto and orchestra

Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Riccardo Muti, Zell Music Director.

Project Highlights:

  • Details to be announced!
  • World Premiere planned for the 2018/19 Season.

Concerto For Low Brass

A unique project, this concerto will be written for the entire low brass section with orchestra. The work will be premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra, conducted by Osmo Vanska.

Project Highlights:

  • Soloists, Minnesota Orchestra trombone and tuba section.
  • Premiere: June, 2018
  • Commissioned as a crowd-funded project, led by D. Wilson Ochoa – in memory of good friend Bill Zehfuss.


Stephenson wins William D. Revelli Award

We are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2017 William D. Revelli Composition Contest is Symphony No. 2 “Voices” by James Stephenson. The National Band Association William D. Revelli Composition Contest, sponsored by KHS America, is designed to recognize outstanding compositions that help further the cause of quality literature for bands in America. ... Read more

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Chicago Symphony Announces New Commission by Jim Stephenson

Very excited to officially announce that I will be writing a new bass trombone concerto for Charlie Vernon, to be premiered by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Riccardo Muti. June 13-15, 2019. https://cso.org/ticketsandevents/production-details-2018-19/chicago-symphony-orchestra/muti-conducts-american-paris-tchaikovsky/?perfNo=9314  

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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

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
Compose Yourself! - at Music Academy of the West
July 23, 2018
Monday 1:30PM

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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)
Composer-in-Residence at New Hampshire Music Festival
Jul 17 - Jul 19, 2018

Stephenson will work with the chamber ensembles and symphony orchestra on several of his works, including "Ode to Peace" and "Celestial Suite". Conducted by Paul Polivnick More about Ode to Peace More about Celestial Suite  

Composer in Residence at National Ecological Center
Jul 22 - Jul 27, 2018

Stephenson to be inaugural composer-in-residence at NCEAS - a new program where he will interact with scientists to gather inspiration for a chamber work to be premiered at Music Academy of the West in 2019.

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