Cornelius Cardew Composition Prize - Composers Web Project


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Gillian Stevens composing was interrupted by five children over a ten year period, although she continued performing and also qualified as a music therapist.

She lives and works in South Wales and is also engaged in renovating a mill and mill house.
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String Quartet



Biographical Notes

Gillian Stevens was born in Cambridge in 1948. Her composing is very much influenced by the unusual musical diet she imbibed almost with her mother's milk; very large amounts of Mediaeval and Rennaisance music, due to the fact that her father was constantly writing books about and editing the same.

She was educated at the Perse School for Girls where she received an enormouns amount of encouragement for her earlist efforts at composing (a symphony of course.) She had a lot of works performed by student groups (including C.U.M.S.)both as a schoolgirl in Cambridge and as a student at York University.

Then suddenly a stong maternal instinct kicked in and she had five children over the course of ten years, which so satisfied her creative urges that she did very little composing.


However, other musical activities, such as performing professionally on viola da gamba and cello were not impeded by the children. Then just as suddenly, when child 5 reached the age of 4, the desire and need to compose re-emerged, just when Gillian had exceeded the age limit for most composition competitions other than the Cornelius Cardew Composition Prize which has no age limit.

She also continued to play professionally and to teach and run creative music workshops and in 1989 she qualified as a music therapist. The experience of creating music in clinical improvisation with peope who have, sometimes severe, intellectual disabilities or emotional problems has had a profound effect on her thinking about music.

Gillian plays viol in a duo with her partner Dylan Fowler

selected works


Selected Works

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