My background is choral/vocal, and spans solo and group performing of church music, oratorios, art songs, opera, medieval music, madrigals and contemporary music.
I received two Fulbright scholarships in Voice, and my B.A. in Voice from the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin and subsequently, was awarded a German Government Grant (DAAD) to write a dissertation on the Songs of Robert Schumann. In 1990 I transitioned to composing choral music. I am particularly interested in using unusual combinations of voices and instruments, combining neo-medieval styles with fugal, percussive, and rhythmic experimentation while steadfastly maintaining a modal, tonal or harmonically-based foundation to my choral writing.
Many of my choral compositions are commissions, and/or winners of competitions. My first composition, Spring Song, was the only one by a living woman composer to be played at the Chorus America Convention in Los Angeles. With the help of a grant from the Thanks Be to Grandmother Foundation and the City of Ventura,CA, I was able to produce two West Coast Premieres of Mater in Memoriam, one with SSAA and Chamber Ensemble, and the other performance with SSAA, Horn, Flute, Vibraphone and Piano. The work is also available for SSAA and Piano. Click on "Clips" to hear excerpts of the Chamber Ensemble performance.
I have been selected twice by the Foundation of Women in Music (Donne in Musica) for their Christmas performances in Rome. Contact Donneinmusica.org for more information.
My music has been performed throughout the United States, and in Europe, where I am now living, at competitions, choral festivals, and by individual choruses. I am a member of the International Association of Women Composers, The American Composer's Forum and ASCAP.
To contact me for commissions, to write for special events, or for your chorus:
Naomi Stephan, Ph.D., ASCAP