Stef Conner

Stef Conner

Stef Conner is a composer and singer who develops imaginative sonic responses to musical evidence from deep history, from gold lyres and cuneiform music notation to bardic storytelling and magical incantations. She studied music at the University of York, graduating with a starred first and going on to complete a PhD in Composition. From 2008–2010, she performed with the Mercury Prize-nominated folk band The Unthanks, whose honest mode of musical storytelling deeply affected her work, igniting a passion for traditional song that feeds into everything she composes and performs. She was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize in 2011. In 2012 she released The Flood, with the Lyre Ensemble, an album of ancient Mesopotamian poetry set to new music, accompanied by reconstructed Sumerian instruments, garnering surprise international attention. From 2013–15, she was the first Composer in Residence with the charity Streetwise Opera, which uses music to help homeless people make positive changes in their lives. This collaboration lead to her being named in the 'Music-Makers' category of the Evening Standard's 2014 '1000 Most Influential Londoners' list. From 2017–19, she undertook a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Huddersfield, exploring experimental performance of music from antiquity. Her compositions have been heard on BBC television and radio, distributed by Naxos, Delphian, and Discovery Records, published by the University of York Music Press, and heard at venues including the Royal Festival Hall, King's College Cambridge, Cheltenham Festival, and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Performers of her work include the London Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and Philharmonia Orchestra. Her album Riddle Songs (Delphian), based on Old English riddles from the 10th century (‘an appealingly imaginative listening experience’ – Gramophone, March 2021), was a Presto Editor’s Choice and finalist for the 2020 Recordings of the Year. Since 2019 she has performed with Sequentia Ensemble for Medieval Music, directed by Benjamin Bagby, and she is a Lecturer in Composition at the University of York.

Biography

Stef Conner is a composer and singer who develops imaginative sonic responses to musical evidence from deep history, from gold lyres and cuneiform music notation to bardic storytelling and magical incantations. She studied music at the University of York, graduating with a starred first and going on to complete a PhD in Composition. From 2008–2010, she performed with the Mercury Prize-nominated folk band The Unthanks, whose honest mode of musical storytelling deeply affected her work, igniting a passion for traditional song that feeds into everything she composes and performs. She was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize in 2011. In 2012 she released The Flood, with the Lyre Ensemble, an album of ancient Mesopotamian poetry set to new music, accompanied by reconstructed Sumerian instruments, garnering surprise international attention. From 2013–15, she was the first Composer in Residence with the charity Streetwise Opera, which uses music to help homeless people make positive changes in their lives. This collaboration lead to her being named in the 'Music-Makers' category of the Evening Standard's 2014 '1000 Most Influential Londoners' list. From 2017–19, she undertook a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Huddersfield, exploring experimental performance of music from antiquity. Her compositions have been heard on BBC television and radio, distributed by Naxos, Delphian, and Discovery Records, published by the University of York Music Press, and heard at venues including the Royal Festival Hall, King's College Cambridge, Cheltenham Festival, and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Performers of her work include the London Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and Philharmonia Orchestra. Her album Riddle Songs (Delphian), based on Old English riddles from the 10th century (‘an appealingly imaginative listening experience’ – Gramophone, March 2021), was a Presto Editor’s Choice and finalist for the 2020 Recordings of the Year. Since 2019 she has performed with Sequentia Ensemble for Medieval Music, directed by Benjamin Bagby, and she is a Lecturer in Composition at the University of York.

Compilations with this composer

Compilations
Six Degrees of Separation Cover

Various: Six Degrees of Separation

NMC Recordings

Patrick John Jones, Christian DrewStef Conner, Emma-Kate Matthews, Chris McCormack, Alex Paxton

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External Links

Music Map

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