James Stephenson’s music is a fresh and energizing soundscape that delights audiences while maintaining integrity and worthwhile challenges for the performing musician. This rare combination has rewarded Stephenson with ongoing projects and commissions. His collaborations include a concerto for Branford Marsalis with Rodney Mack, a work for the Dallas Symphony, and a concerto for Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal trombonist Nitzan Haroz.
Stephenson has been performed by many of today’s leading orchestras, including Cleveland, the symphonies of Houston, Atlanta, Detroit, Baltimore, and Jacksonville, the Rochester Philharmonic, Florida Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, and Lake Forest Symphony. His music for wind ensemble has led to commissions, performances, and recordings by bands such as the USAF Band of Liberty, “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band, Boston University, and Columbus State University. And works for brass have led to solo commissions from many top-tiered orchestral players, including those from the symphonies of Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Montreal, Oregon, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Stephenson studied at New England Conservatory, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree with distinction in trumpet performance. He makes his home in the Chicago area with his wife, Sally, a performing violinist, and their four children.