cornwallcomposers.com

Stephen Brown

‘cellist, composer, musical director

Stephen Brown was born in East Ham, London and learned the ‘cello at school with William Roskelly. He played the Haydn D Major Concerto with his local Youth Orchestra aged 17, and also studied the Walton concerto. In his teenage years he played with the London Junior Orchestra (conductor Bernard Keefe) at the Royal Academy of Music and also played and performed regularly with friends in a string quartet, in which he became acquainted with the great quartets of Shostakovich and Bartok, dabbled with the dodecaphony of Webern, and first tried his hand at composition. He was fortunate to have some conducting lessons from Sir Adrian Boult during these years. While studying medicine at King's College Cambridge he performed for David Willcocks' farewell and Philip Ledger’s inaugural concert. Later in London he composed, orchestrated & conducted music for pantomimes, shows and reviews. He also played in the London-based group Sinfonia Concertante, conducted by Clive Fairbairn, receiving favourable notices in the national press. In the 1980s he was a member of the Salomon Orchestra under various conductors including John Eliot Gardiner, Simon Rattle, Brian Wright and Nicholas Braithwaite, working with soloists that included Nigel Kennedy, Stephen Isserlis and Felicity Lott. The Salomon’s concerts at St. John’s Smith Square were regularly broadcast on the radio. Later he was to take part in a commercial recording accompanying Hinge & Bracket, and also made a CD with the Academy of St. Thomas in Norwich. He has lived in Cornwall since 2000 and professional musical engagements have included the British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and work with Plymouth Philharmonic Choir, Truro Choral Society, New Devon Opera and Red Earth Opera and was Musical Director of Bodmin Musical Theatre Company from 2010-2016. He is a member of the Corineus String Quartet and also plays regularly with St Mewan Sinfonia, the Orchestra of St Mary’s and two early music groups, the Heinichen Ensemble and the James Hook Players. Now retired from medical practice, his compositions include four string quartets, all written for the Corineus String Quartet, and various chamber and orchestral works for voice mostly written for the singer Maria Heseltine. His setting of John Wesley’s Thou hidden source of calm repose was performed at Truro Cathedral in 2016, and the orchestral Two Sonnets by Rupert Brooke was first performed in Penzance in 2014. One of these, The Soldier was subsequently performed in Plymouth and Liskeard by international soprano Nadine Benjamin. 2018 saw the premiere of Fear no more the heat o’ the sun for mezzo-soprano and orchestra in Penzance with Maria Heseltine as soloist. He recently completed a project setting some poems by the Georgian poet Wilfrid Gibson, one of which, 'In Hexham Abbey', was performed in Penzance in September 2019. He is currently involved in writing an opera, while also researching the history of peripatetic music teaching in the London Borough of Newham. A selected composition portfolio is on YouTube:
Stephen Brown ‘cellist, composer, musical director Stephen Brown was born in East Ham, London and learned the ‘cello at school with William Roskelly. He played the Haydn D Major Concerto with his local Youth Orchestra aged 17, and also studied the Walton concerto. In his teenage years he played with the London Junior Orchestra (conductor Bernard Keefe) at the Royal Academy of Music and also played and performed regularly with friends in a string quartet, in which he became acquainted with the great quartets of Shostakovich and Bartok, dabbled with the dodecaphony of Webern, and first tried his hand at composition. He was fortunate to have some conducting lessons from Sir Adrian Boult during these years. While studying medicine at King's College Cambridge he performed for David Willcocks' farewell and Philip Ledger’s inaugural concert. Later in London he composed, orchestrated & conducted music for pantomimes, shows and reviews. He also played in the London-based group Sinfonia Concertante, conducted by Clive Fairbairn, receiving favourable notices in the national press. In the 1980s he was a member of the Salomon Orchestra under various conductors including John Eliot Gardiner, Simon Rattle, Brian Wright and Nicholas Braithwaite, working with soloists that included Nigel Kennedy, Stephen Isserlis and Felicity Lott. The Salomon’s concerts at St. John’s Smith Square were regularly broadcast on the radio. Later he was to take part in a commercial recording accompanying Hinge & Bracket, and also made a CD with the Academy of St. Thomas in Norwich. He has lived in Cornwall since 2000 and professional musical engagements have included the British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and work with Plymouth Philharmonic Choir, Truro Choral Society, New Devon Opera and Red Earth Opera and was Musical Director of Bodmin Musical Theatre Company from 2010-2016. He is a member of the Corineus String Quartet and also plays regularly with St Mewan Sinfonia, the Orchestra of St Mary’s and two early music groups, the Heinichen Ensemble and the James Hook Players. Now retired from medical practice, his compositions include four string quartets, all written for the Corineus String Quartet, and various chamber and orchestral works for voice mostly written for the singer Maria Heseltine. His setting of John Wesley’s Thou hidden source of calm repose was performed at Truro Cathedral in 2016, and the orchestral Two Sonnets by Rupert Brooke was first performed in Penzance in 2014. One of these, The Soldier was subsequently performed in Plymouth and Liskeard by international soprano Nadine Benjamin. 2018 saw the premiere of Fear no more the heat o’ the sun for mezzo-soprano and orchestra in Penzance with Maria Heseltine as soloist. He recently completed a project setting some poems by the Georgian poet Wilfrid Gibson, one of which, 'In Hexham Abbey', was performed in Penzance in September 2019. He is currently involved in writing an opera, while also researching the history of peripatetic music teaching in the London Borough of Newham. A selected composition portfolio is on YouTube: