Composer

Steven writes an eclectic mix of concert music for singers and instrumentalists.

His sound-world is obliquely lyrical, rhythmically refracted, and harmonically pungent, combining expressive beauty of sound with craftsmanship and intellectual rigour.

[List of works]

2016 saw first performances of April Zen for tenor and piano [Listen to Part One], and Prelude, Cumulation, Trio for violin and piano [Listen].

He has received a number of commissions in the last few years, writing works for piano, clavichord, four horns, and chamber ensemble. A newly-commissioned short choral work, Care-Charming Spells, was premiered by Thornbury Choral Society in May 2013. Steven's 2012 Fanfare for brass and organ recently received its second performance during the opening service of the 2013 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester [See score].

In September 2011 Steven completed a second String Quartet [Hear 1st movt] which was premiered in 2012. Other recent works include Zen May, setting 31 short texts for SATB, harp and organ [See extract], Les Vitraux de Saint-Séverin for large ensemble [See extract], and a Sextet for wind and strings [See extract]. His first string quartet, premiered in 2007, is entitled After the dissonance... [Hear extract].

 

Past successes:-

  • Songs of Mary and Simeon, a setting of the Canticles in Greek, was commissioned by the Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir and performed during the 2005 Three Choirs Festival. [See extract]
  • haiku mass, written for and performed by the Bristol Choral Society in 2002, was shortlisted for a British Composer Award in 2003. [See extract]
  • red land spring was a prize winner in the Tong Piano Duet Competition in 2002, and was performed that year by the Tong Piano Duet in Tokyo and London. [See extract]
  • Snapshots for Flute, Saxophone, Percussion, 'Cello, and Double Bass (1985) won the Young Composers’ Competition at the Huddersfield Festival of Contemporary Music in 1985, and was performed there by Lontano conducted by Odaline de la Martinez.
  • Piano Sonata (1980) was selected by the ISM for a performance by Eileen Pearce at their Young Composers' Forum in Birmingham in 1982.

Works shortlisted by the Society for the Promotion of New Music:-

  • Phantasy V for Clarinet (1984), performed in 1985, broadcast by BBC Radio 3 in 1986
  • Nocturne for Orchestra (1984), performed in London in 1985
  • Three Piano Pieces (1985), performed in London in 1987 [Hear Piano Piece 3]
  • Deviation-Norm for Horn (1986)
  • Window Waiting for Tenor, Choir and String Quartet (1991)
  • Fingers Pointing to the Moon for Piano (1992) [Hear extract]
  • passion games for viola (1999) [See extract]

Reviews of Snapshots:-

  • “...was most delicately scored, saying what it had to say in a direct, though poetic, manner.” (The Times)

  • “...combines trenchancy, economy, and lyrical imagination.” (Financial Times)

  • “...revealed succinct wit and neat sense of form.” (The Observer)

Steven is a member of the Severnside Composers Alliance, a network of composers based in the West Country, which organises concerts of members' works as well as talks by individual composers about their music. [SCA]