"... straightforward, unashamedly beautiful sounds..." and "deserves to be heard again and again."
"... skillfully composed" and "covers a wide stylistic and emotional range... seamlessly arranged..." - Boston Herald and Boston Globe
"I consider him to be one of the most exciting composers, not just in the U.S., but in the world." - Peg Goldberg Longstreth, Naples Daily News
Composer James M. Stephenson is in demand as an orchestral and chamber music composer; he maintains a busy schedule fulfilling commissions, attending premieres, and conducting his music. With more than 150 works already to his credit as well as many notable performances, Stephenson has earned the respect of performers, audiences, and the press. His music achieves often elusive balances: intellectualism without elitism and accessibility without cliché. A Stephenson score can be enjoyed upon first hearing yet provide new pleasures upon further study.
Adept at composing in a wide range of genres, Stephenson’s catalog features not only orchestral and chamber works, but works for chorus, solo keyboard, solo voice, and concert band as well. The Dallas Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, the Portland Symphony, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, and the acclaimed Minnesota Commissioning Club have all commissioned the composer. Notable conductors including Gustavo Dudamel, Jorge Mester, Fabio Mechetti, Stefan Sanderling, and Daniel Hege have championed his work and the Cleveland Orchestra, the Detroit, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Oregon Symphonies as well as orchestras in Canada and Russia have all been involved in performing Stephenson’s music. Also in demand as a clinician and educator, Stephenson has served as composer-in-residence for festivals in Nevada, Massachusetts, and Illinois.