Bernard Stevens

Bernard (George) Stevens, born 2 March 1916 in London, died 6 January 1983 in Colchester, England was a significant British composer. He studied English and Music at the University of Cambridge with E. J. Dent, then at the Royal College of Music with R.O. Morris and Gordon Jacob from 1937 to 1940. His op.l, a violin sonata, attracted the attention of Max Rostal, who commissioned a Violin Concerto, which Stevens wrote while on army service. In 1946 his First Symphony, entitled Symphony of Liberation, won first prize in a competition sponsored by the Daily Express newspaper for a 'Victory Symphony' to celebrate the end of the war with a premiere at the Royal Albert Hall. In 1948 Stevens was appointed Professor of Composition at the Royal College of Music, a post he combined from 1967 with a professorship at the University of London. As an examiner he travelled widely, especially in Eastern Europe. Although he resigned his membership of the Communist Party in protest at the Soviet suppression of the 1956 Hungarian uprising, Stevens was intellectually and emotionally committed to the left and associated with other socialist artists and writers, such as his friends Alan Bush, Randall Swingler and Montague Slater, and was active in the Workers‘ Musical Association. His musical students included British composer Keith Burstein. Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.

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