Cellospeak has commissioned new works by the following composers:
Mark Stephenson has enjoyed a long and varied career as a bassist and composer. Currently he performs with the Virginia Chamber Orchestra and the National Philharmonic, as well as the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra. He spent six years in Hong Kong where he was the Assistant Principal Bassist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and wrote his best known composition, Christmas Card, which has been performed there as well as by the Seattle Symphony, and last December by the Fairfax Symphony.
His compositions for his own instrument include Concertpiece for Bass and Strings, Sonata in B Minor for Bass and Piano, Duos for Violin and Bass, and Cello and Bass, Five Preludes for Bass Quartet, and most recently Ricercare in memoriam Roger M. Scott for Violin, Viola and Bass. He graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1973 as a student of Roger M. Scott. He has performed with The Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony, Washington Opera, and the Baltimore Symphony. He lives in Fort Valley Virginia with his wife, son, and two daughters.
James Barry composes music drawn from a unique amalgam of high and low art. Early influences include playing in and writing songs for metal and punk bands, followed by rigorous academic compositional training. The end product is an immediate, intelligent, colorful, original, dramatic brand of contemporary music.
James has been the recipient of numerous awards, commissions and honors: the 2001 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, Meet The Composer, the American Music Center, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Dayton Ballet (OH) NEW MUSIC for NEW DANCE, the Chicago Ensemble (Chicago), the Auros Group for New Music (Boston), the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble (San Francisco), Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra's Fresh Ink (FL), the SCI/ASCAP Student Composition Commission, The Commission Project (NY), CASE Arts Group (PA), and Cellospeak (VA) among others.
James was born in Newport, RI and grew up in the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C. From 2004-2010, he produced contemporary music concerts across New York City as artistic/managing director of the Forecast Music. An educator for several years, James was an adjunct composition faculty member at the University of Florida and an assistant instructor at Florida State University. He received a DM in composition from Florida State University, a MM in composition from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BM in composition and classical guitar performance from the University of South Florida. He has studied composition with Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Lewis Spratlan, Ladislav Kubik, Dan Welcher, Donald Grantham, Stephen Montague, Mark Schultz, James Lewis, and Paul Reller.