STEPHENSON premieres/conducts first opera

On June 11, 2023, CÅRABOO – the true story of a false princess – had its world premiere in Lake Forest, IL. Jim Stephenson conducted the International Chamber Artists chamber orchestra in a new score he created after the libretto by Matt Boresi. The one-act opera featured the vocal talents of Jessica Usherwood, soprano (Princess … Read more

STEPHENSON’s OCTET performed at Minnesota Orchestra

Stephenson’s Octet (for winds), inspired by Stravinsky’s composition using the same forces, was given its professional premiere performance by members of the Minnesota Orchestra on June 4, 2023. Said trombonist Doug Wright after the performance: “I love the Octet and hope to play it again, hopefully in the not-too-distant future“. Click below to hear it … Read more

STEPHENSON conducts/premieres music with Traverse Symphony Orchestra

In March, 2023, Jim Stephenson was invited to guest conduct the Traverse Symphony Orchestra in an exciting program centered around spring, dance, and Martha Graham. Much of the program – below – was captured on Interlochen Public Radio (IPR) STEPHENSON – Printemps (for string orchestra) STEPHENSON – Martha Uncaged, Concerto for trumpet      Ken … Read more

STEPHENSON piano concerto premiered.

Jim Stephenson’s piano concerto premiered at the New Hampshire Music Festival (Paul Polivnick), and was subsequently performed by the Traverse Symphony Orchestra (Kevin Rhodes). On both occasions, Jeffrey Biegel was the soloist. The TSO performance can be heard here.

Symphony No. 3, “VISIONS” – up for consideration in three Grammy categories

Described as “…scintillating writing”, “skillful… unexpected mystery”, “…a virtual concerto for orchestra”…”such a rewarding release” (FANFARE Magazine), and “a colorful, energetic, and attractive symphony” (Classical Candor) — I’m really grateful to be up for consideration in THREE categories for the 2023 Recording Academy / GRAMMYs Grammy Awards. The team at Cedille Records and the musicians … Read more

Stephenson’s 2nd symphony performed at historic palace, Prague

Stephenson’s monumental 2nd Symphony – VOICES – received a wonderful performance during “The President’s Own” US Marine Band’s European tour during July, 2022. Performed inside the historic Žofín Palace in the center of Prague, in a program including famed Karel Husa’s “Music for Prague”, and the premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s “Aspire”, it was a night … Read more

Young audience showcase: Once Upon a Symphony video by US Marine Orchestra

Stephenson’s young-audience adventure – “Once Upon a Symphony” – received a standout performance by “The President’s Own” US Marine Orchestra, and recorded on video. It was conducted by Major Ryan Nowlin, and featured the composer as guest narrator. The video will be part of their fall release to be sent to young audiences across the … Read more

Stephenson’s Flute sonata premiered at National Flute Association convention

On August 12, 2022, Marie (Mimi) Tachouet (Lyric Opera’s principal flutist) premiered “American Portraits”, Stephenson’s new Sonata for Flute and Piano, with Kay Kim on piano. One of the highlights of the NFA‘s Friday night gala concert, the premiere can be heard here. The work was commissioned by the Chicago Flute Club.

New Adaptable (Flex) Ensemble Music

In an effort to meet the needs of ensembles seeking flexible music for these uncertain times, Jim has created the following Adaptable (Flex) Ensemble scores. He has created multi-level works for those middle-school, high-school, university, professional  orchestras/bands looking for music at the appropriate level. Furthermore, he has created what he calls “Flextets” – chamber music … Read more

Chamber/Chamber orchestra music of Jim Stephenson

Jim has been commissioned/premiered by the Chicago Symphony (Muti), Minnesota Orchestra (Vänskä), St. Louis Symphony (Robertson), San Francisco Ballet (West), the “President’s Own” US Marine Band. His Trumpet concerto #3 – “Concerto for Hope” – was recently recorded by the Memphis Symphony, with Ryan Anthony as soloist and Robert Moody conducting; he is currently writing a piano concerto, … Read more

Piano concerto for acclaimed pianist, Jeffrey Biegel

Jeffrey Biegel has commissioned me to write a new piano concerto for him, to be premiered in the sorting of 2021. The Traverse Symphony will premiere the work, and a follow-up performance is also scheduled at the New Hampshire Music Festival, under the baton of Paul Polivnick. Jeffrey is enormously talented, and I am truly … Read more

a new Opera for the International Chamber Musicians.

As newly appointed composer-in-residence of ICA, my first commissioned work will be a new one hour one-act chamber opera. This will be my first voyage into the wonderful world of opera, and I can’t wait to tell the story. Which, has yet to be determined. Premiere tentatively set for May, 2021. Stay tuned…

Grammy-nominated CD!

“Liquid Melancholy – clarinet music of James M. Stephenson” (John Yeh, clarinet) is a GRAMMY-NOMINATED CD! The decision for “Best Engineered Album, Classical”  will occur on February 10, 2019 at the 61st Grammy Awards. CD info

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.