Stephen trained at Goldsmiths College, University of London, gaining an honours degree in music. Stephen is a member of BASCA (the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors), PRS for Music and the Musicians’ Union. Stephen works predominantly in musical theatre and his musicals and songs have been performed in London’s West End, Switzerland, Germany and the United States. He also composes choral music and music for various media. Stephen is represented by Charles Walker at United Agents, London. He is a founder member of the Mercury Workshop (now called Mercury Musical Developments) the only UK organisation dedicated to new musical theatre writing. In 1990 he was chosen by Stephen Sondheim and Sir Cameron Mackintosh to be one of thirteen writers to study with Sondheim during his tenure at Oxford University as the visiting professor of contemporary theatre.
During his time with Stephen Sondheim at Oxford, Stephen composed the music for MADDIE (lyrics by Stephen’s regular writing partner Shaun McKenna, book by Shaun McKenna and Steven Dexter) which was subsequently workshopped at the Royal National Theatre Studio before its first full production at the Salisbury Playhouse. This production then transferred to the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue in London’s West End in 1997, produced by Kenny Wax. The original London cast recording is available. Stephen was the co-composer of the music for LA CAVA (with Lawrence O’Keefe, book by Dana Broccoli, lyrics by John Claflin and O’Keefe, additional lyrics by Shaun McKenna) which transferred from the Churchill Theatre, Bromley to the Victoria Palace Theatre, London in 2000 and later moved to the Piccadilly Theatre. The original London cast recording is available.
Stephen composed the music for a critically acclaimed musical adaptation of HEIDI (book and lyrics by Shaun McKenna) which uniquely combines the story of Heidi with the life of its author, Johanna Spyri. HEIDI opened in Switzerland in 2005. A new production opened at the Anhaltisches Theater, Dessau in Germany 2006-2007. In 2007 a sequel, JOHANNA AND HEIDI (intertwining the second Heidi novel with the final years of the life of Johanna Spyri and ending with her death), premiered in Switzerland and was later nominated for the Prix Walo award. The original cast recording of JOHANNA AND HEIDI is available.
His recent collaborations with Shaun McKenna include THE RETURN OF PETER PAN a musical sequel to Peter Pan commissioned in Germany, ANASTASIA-A MUSICAL RIDDLE and THE ONE TRUE THING a prequel to HEIDI.
For the Made In Sheffield Theatre Company Stephen composed the music for MY FATHER'S SON, a musical set in the steel mills of nineteenth century Sheffield and based loosely on Hamlet (book and lyrics by Stephen Clark, Sheffield Crucible 1999). For the same company he composed THE LAST WAVE, a powerful and challenging musical about a quest loosely based on the children’s crusade (book and lyrics by Peter Spafford, Rotherham Arts Centre 1998). With book and lyrics by Edward Hardy Stephen composed a musical adaptation of THE AMAZING MR BLUNDEN performed in concert at the Covent Garden Theatre Museum 1995, based on Antonia Barber's novel The Ghosts.
Stephen has also written the music for several new musicals with book and lyrics by the noted author Jonathan Miles including BETWEEN THE KISSES and CHILDREN OF PARADISE which are at various stages of development. They are currently collaborating on a new musical about the rivalry between Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo inspired by Jonathan’s book The Nine Lives of Otto Katz and a new musical set in the glam-rock world of the 1970s.
Stephen has composed scores for several plays including THE BROKEN HEART at the Lyric Hammersmith Studio (directed by Jonathan Church), PEER GYNT and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM amongst others.
Stephen also composes for choirs. Choral music includes settings of the Pie Jesu, several carols and a full-length setting of The Night Before Christmas for SATB. He has also arranged several pieces for choirs for concert performance.