Stephen Montague studied piano, conducting and composition at Florida State University, received a doctorate in composition from Ohio State University and won a Fulbright Fellowship to work in Warsaw, Poland. From Poland he came to England, and has since 1975 worked as a freelance composer based in London and touring world-wide. Major commissions have included a piano concerto for the BBC Proms, works for pianist Stephen Kovacevich and percussionist Evelyn Glennie.
Although a long term UK resident, his compositional influences are transatlantic; he has cited among them Charles Ives, Henry Cowell and John Cage. As a "virtuoso pianist" (New York Times) he has recorded for all the major European radio networks, performed at Carnegie Hall, London's Queen Elizabeth Hall and Paris's Centre Pompidou.
In the UK, Stephen Montague was Associate Composer with The Orchestra of St. Johns, London and Featured Composer for the City of Oxford. Internationally, he has been a guest professor at the University of Texas-Austin, and at the University of Auckland, NZ. In 2002 he was made an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College of Music, London and in November 2004 he was made Honorary Fellow at Leeds College of Music.