Composers Stephen Roberts Music

Stephen Roberts

Utterly fascinating music.” Birmingham Post (on Rosace de Notre Dame)

“Witty, serious and inventive.” London Evening Standard (on The Next Stop is Angel…..)

 “One of the best new works I have conducted in a long time. Beautifully crafted and fun to rehearse and play.” David Atherton (on Sinfonia for Brass, Percussion & Strings)

Stephen Roberts’ compositional output is unusually wide-ranging and reflects the eclecticism of his long established musical career; a restless one that has always embraced playing, conducting, pedagogy and composing in equal measure.

Born in London, he studied French horn at the Royal College of Music with Alan Civil and gained a PHD in composition at the University of Birmingham under John Casken, John Joubert and Vic Hoyland.

He was a founder member of the Fine Arts Brass Ensemble and this fruitful association resulted in a lot of globetrotting as well as a prolific output of works for brass ensembles or bands, which are published and recorded in large number. Many of these have since become part of the standard repertoire of brass ensembles across the world.

Stephen's other works include commissions from BBC Radio 3 for the BBC Symphony and BBC National Orchestra of Wales; chamber music for the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Britten Sinfonia; educational pieces for the North German Radio Orchestra, the Philharmonia or unusual ensembles, such as community bands, school ensembles, steel orchestra; band works for the Kosei Wind Band of Tokyo, the RAF Central Band and the Black Dyke Brass Band; incidental music for films and TV/Radio dramas; ‘backing tracks’ for ‘pop’ musicians, such as David Stewart and George Martin; reconstructions of works by Mozart, recorded by the Academy of Ancient Music and The Hanover Band.

Stephen has the unusual distinction of having played in or conducted most of the orchestras, bands or ensembles for whom he has written.

Since 2002 he has been Professor of Orchestration at the Royal Military School of Music, London and is director of the Symphonic Brass Ensemble at the University of Birmingham. He has also held posts as Professor of Horn at the Birmingham Conservatoire and lecturer in composition and conducting at the University of Birmingham.

Of his compositional style he says,

Lexicographical types might describe me as a polystylist, a descriptor that reflects my musical career. I see all musical genres, both historical and contemporary, as inspiring and ‘relevant’ and try not to repeat myself or languish in a pigeonhole. Above all, I believe in engaging both listener and player as much as possible and agree with Gautier in the belief that imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality”

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Stephen Roberts
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