New Music Associate
"Composer Stephen Montague's ability to communicate the complexities of the 'new music' with insight, wit and charm immediately won over his audience."
The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio
is an Anglo/American composer, pianist and conductor born and educated in the USA but living in Europe since 1972, first as a Fulbright Scholar in Warsaw, Poland (1972-74) and since 1974 in London where he works as a freelance composer. His works cover a wide spectrum of interests from music for the concert hall to large outdoor, multi-media events using hundreds of performers.
His concert works have been performed by leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists which include the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, The National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, DC), The Royal Ballet, the Hilliard Ensemble, pianists Emmanuel Ax Stephen Kovacevich, Joanna MacGregor, Marc-André Hamelin and percussionist Evelyn Glennie.
His large scale multi-media events include Horn Concerto for klaxon horn soloist and an orchestra of automobiles, Apparitions - a late night multimedia event in English and Scottish castles with multiple ensembles, 105 performers, videos, installations, live electronics, and a masked audience, and Bike Concerto for solo pianist, 8 motorcycles, brass choir, and percussion premiered at the UK World Superbike Championships, Brands Hatch, with World Superbike Champion James Toesland as piano soloist and a crowd of 40,000 spectators.
Recent Composer Portrait concerts of Montague's music have taken place in London, Mexico City, Houston, Chicago, New York, Vienna, Budapest and Bahrain. He was Guest Professor of Composition at Trinity College of Music- London, Royal Academy of Music, University of Texas- Austin, University of Auckland- NZ, and the Associate Composer with the Orchestra of St. Johns, Smith Square, London.
As a performer he has worked with a wide variety of international composers and performers including John Cage, George Crumb, Mauricio Kagel, Stockhausen, Michael Nyman, Gavin Bryars, Frederic Rzewski and John Paul Jones (of Led Zeppelin).
Montague's works are published by United Music Publishers, UK and CDs of his works include a collection of his keyboard and chamber works entitled "Southern Lament" (NMC) which won The International Piano Award for "Best New Piano Music Recording of 2006".
"The Mixing Music Series was enormously revitalised by the regular appearance of Stephen Montague, the Host-Composer for the season, whose ability to communicate with the whole audience was apparent from the first concert. His attractive manner, gentle humour and down-to-earth descriptions of the music we were to hear added greatly to the experience of concert-going.
New Music concerts are, by nature of their content, often slightly daunting but Stephen's regular calm smiling appearance as Introducer allayed the worries of the uninitiated, reduced tensions by gently and humorously pricking the pretentiousness of some composers' notes and generally led us away from the fear of the contemporary music ghetto. He made the evenings good fun as well as stimulating, and each time left us looking forward to his coming again."
Jennie MacGregor-Smith, Chair, Bromsgrove Concert Series, Avoncroft Museum