Stephen Montague

(b. 10 March 1943, Syracuse, New York).

British composer, born in the USA, of mostly orchestral, chamber, choral, piano, and electroacoustic works that have been performed throughout the world.

Mr. Montague initially studied at Florida State University in Tallahassee, where he earned his BMus in piano with honours in 1965 and his MMus in analysis and music theory in 1967. He also received a certificate in conducting from the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg in 1966 and earned his DMA in composition at the Ohio State University in Columbus in 1972. He then studied electronic music at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire and the University of New Hampshire in Durham in 1972, on a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and composition at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and the Experimental Studio of Polskie Radio from 1972–74, on the Fulbright Fellowship.

Among his honours are the London Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Music (1988), Premier Prix in the Concours International de Musique Électroacoustique de Bourges (1994, for String Quartet No. 1: in memoriam Barry Anderson and Tomasz Sikorski), the Ernst von Dohnányi Citation for Excellence in Composition in the USA (1995), the Distinction Award from the Prix Ars Electronica in Linz (1996, for String Quartet No. 1: in memoriam Barry Anderson and Tomasz Sikorski), and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Ohio State University (2000). He was named an honorary fellow of the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London in 2001 and of the Leeds College of Music in 2004. More than 20 portrait concerts have been given in Europe.

He is also active in other positions. As a pianist, his specialty is contemporary music. He served as chair of the Society for the Promotion of New Music in London from 1993–97 and as its artistic director in 1998–99. In addition, he served as composer-in-association to the Orchestra of St. John's in London from 1995–97, as artistic consultant to the Inventing America Festival at the Barbican Centre in London from 1995–98, as artistic director of the organisation Contemporary Music for All in 2004–05, and as the new music associate at the art gallery Kettle's Yard in Cambridge from 2010–12. He has written numerous articles for journals and magazines in the UK, as well as for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

He taught as a guest professor of composition at the University of Texas at Austin in 1992, 1995 and 2000 and at the University of Auckland in 1997. He has taught on a part-time basis at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance since 2007.

He lived in Poland from 1972–74 and has lived in the UK since 1974.

United Music Publishing is his publisher.


E-mail address for consulting scores:



Largo con moto (ballet), dancer, fixed media, 1975

Into the Sun (ballet), prepared piano, percussion, fixed media (4 tracks), 1977

Median (ballet), orchestra, 1984 (incorporates From the White Edge of Phrygia and Prologue)


Voussoirs, orchestra, fixed media, 1970–72

Sound Round, orchestra, live electronics, 1973

Strummin', piano (with red light), string orchestra, fixed media, 1974–81

At the White Edge of Phrygia, small orchestra, 1983 (also version as From the White Edge of Phrygia, orchestra, 1984 [also incorporated into ballet Median])

Prologue, 1984 (also incorporated into ballet Median)

Snakebite, small orchestra, 1995

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, piano, orchestra, 1997

A Toy Symphony, 6 amateur players, small orchestra, 1999

Marche Militaire, symphonic band, 1999

Deep in the Vaults of Earth, symphonic band, fixed media, 2001

Snowscape: St. Pölten, 20 or more strings (around hall), 2001

Junk Concerto, trumpet, 2 amateur percussion ensembles, small orchestra (2 flutes, 2 clarinets, strings), 2001–02

Disparate Dances, flute, harp, small orchestra (7 winds, 2 French horns, 2 trumpets, percussion, strings), 2002

Intrada 1631, small orchestra (11 brass, 4 percussion), orchestra ad libitum (3 flutes [all + piccolo], 3 clarinets, 2 alto saxophones, baritone saxophone, organ, 20–30 triangles [around hall], violins [around hall], violas [around hall]), 2001–03

Beyond the Stone Horizon, small orchestra (8 winds, 2 French horns, 2 percussion, strings), 2006

Mephisto, violin, small orchestra (8 winds, 2 trumpets, 3 percussion, strings), 2006–07

Chinook, viola, orchestra (8 winds, 10 brass, harp, timpani, 3 percussion, strings), 2010–11


The Eyes of Ambush, any 5 players, 1973

Caccia, amplified trombone, amplified piano, fixed media, 1974

Quiet Washes, 3 trombones, 3 harps/pianos, 1974

E pluribus unum, any ensemble, 1976

Eine kleine Klangfarben Gigue, any keyboard instrument, any ensemble, 1976

Paramell I, muted trombone, muted piano, 1977

Paramell II: Entity, prepared piano, 5 percussion, 1977

Paramell IV, bass trombone/tuba, fixed media, 1979

Gravity's Rainbow, flute, fixed media, live electronics, 1980

Paramell VI, piano, ensemble (flute, clarinet, cello/percussion), 1981

Mouth of Anger, bass clarinet, piano, percussion, fixed media, live electronics, 1981–83

Aeolian Furies, accordion, 1992

Behold a Pale Horse, organ, ensemble (2 French horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, tuba), 1992 (version of work for organ)

Vlug, flute, fixed media, live electronics, 1992

String Quartet No. 1: in memoriam Barry Anderson and Tomasz Sikorski, string quartet, fixed media, live electronics, 1989–93

String Quartet No. 2, 'Sháman', string quartet, fixed media, live electronics, 1992–93

Hong Kong Polymix, ensemble, fixed media, 1993

Silence: John, Yvar and Tim, prepared piano, prepared string quartet, fixed media, live electronics, 1994

Kristallnacht, 4 groups of wine glasses, 1998

Chew Chow Chatterbox, 4 percussion, 1998

Thule Ultima, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 1999

Black 'n Blues, piano 4 hands, marimba, pillow, 2000

Philup Glassa Lullaby for Wine Glasses, wine glasses (2 players), 2001

Folk Dances, violin, piano, 2002

Rim Fire, 4 percussion, 2002

The Hammer Hawk, piano, string quartet, fixed media ad libitum, 2002

Uncaged, January 2004, any number of players, 2004 (also version for any number of voices)

Tam Linn, string quartet, 2004

Facing the Fire, violin, viola, 2004

On the Silk Road East of Samarkand, cello, percussion, 2004

Two Dirges – Three Dances, flute, percussion, 2004

One Imperial Thunderbolt, prepared piano, harpsichord, fixed media, 2006

Mirabella: A Tarantella, celesta, 2009 (version of work for toy piano)


Varshavian Spring, mixed chorus, ensemble, 1973, revised 1983

Sotto voce, mixed chorus, live electronics, 1976

Tigida Pipa, amplified mixed chorus (+ woodblocks, claves), fixed media, 1983

Boombox Virelai, countertenor, tenor, baritone, bass, 1992

Dark Sun – August 1945, mixed chorus, large amateur orchestra, fixed media, 1995

Varshavian Autumn, mixed chorus, small orchestra, 1995

The Carnal and the Crane, soprano, baritone, mixed chorus, small orchestra (harp, organ, strings), 1998 (a version for soprano, baritone, mixed chorus, organ, orchestra was also incorporated into Christmas Triptych)

Christmas Triptych, soprano, baritone, mixed chorus, organ, orchestra, 2001 (incorporates versions of The Carnal and the Crane and Cantique de Noël [Adolphe Adam]; one section may be performed separately: I Wonder, soprano, mixed chorus, harp, organ, orchestra [also version for soprano, mixed chorus, harp, organ, string orchestra, 2002])

When Dreams Collide, speaker, mixed chorus, orchestra, 2001–02

Requiem: The Trumpets Sounded Calling Them to the Other Side, mezzo-soprano, 6 mixed voices, 4 foghorns, 3 off-stage percussion ensembles, orchestra, 2009

Wilful Chants, 8 mixed voices, small orchestra (11 brass, 2 percussion), 2010


Three Iberian Sketches, soprano, piano, 1970

Inundations II: Willow, soprano, piano, fixed media, 1976

Three Temperance Songs, voice, ensemble, fixed media, 1987

Wild Nights, soprano, clarinet, viola, piano, 1993

The Creatures Indoors, speaker, orchestra, 1997

Texas Pulp Fiction, 3 speakers (all + percussion), 2000

Uncaged, January 2004, any number of voices, 2004 (version of chamber work)

Chorale for the Cauldrons of Hell, any number of voices, piano, percussion, any 4 players, fixed media, 2005–06

The Poison Tree, baritone, piano, tubular bell, 2008

Three Fables (Tales from the Commonwealth) (text by Zinnie Harris), male speaker, ensemble, 2014


Paramell III, piano, humming audience, 1981

Paramell V, 2 pianos, 1981 (also version as Paramell Va, piano, 1981)

Haiku, piano, fixed media, live electronics, 1987

Tongues of Fire, piano (+ stones), fixed media, live electronics, 1983–93

After Ives..., piano, ensemble ad libitum (flute, string quartet), fixed media, live electronics, 1991–93

Mirabella: A Tarantella, toy piano, 1994 (also version for celesta)

Mira, 1995

Southern Lament, 1997

Tsunami, 1997

Four Hours to Midnight: the Last Piece of the 20th Century, 1999

Five Easy Pieces, 1998–2003

Autumn Leaves (collection of 13 short pieces), 2000–03

Almost a Lullaby, toy piano (+ wind chimes, fan, music box), 2004

For Merce C at the Barbican, prepared piano, 2005

Nun-mul, 2014


Behold a Pale Horse, 1990 (also version for organ, ensemble [2 French horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, tuba])

Toccare Incandescent, 2003


Phrygian Tucket, harpsichord, fixed media, 1993

Dark Train Comin', harpsichord, fixed media, 2001


Scythia, fixed media, 1981

Slow Dance on a Burial Ground, fixed media, 1983–84

Bright Interiors I (sound installation), fixed media (8 tracks), 1992 (music for sculpture Colourspace by Maurice Agis)

Bright Interiors II (sound installation), fixed media (16 tracks), 1996 (music for inflatable sculpture Dreamspace by Maurice Agis)

Synthetic Swamp, fixed media (4/8 tracks), 1974–2000

Bright Interiors III (sound installation), fixed media, 2000 (music for inflatable sculpture Dreamspace by Maurice Agis)


Horn Concerto, Klaxon, 20 automobiles, 1998

Beach, Band and Bolder (environmental work), 1000 players, 1998

Green Bridge Horn Concerto, Klaxon, orchestra (automobiles, bicycles, pedestrians), 2000

Abbey Mode: a Sound & Light Event, mixed chorus (with masks), dance troupe, organ, bell ringers, symphonic band, large orchestra, film, lights, 2003


Cantique de Noël (Adolphe Adam), soprano, baritone, mixed chorus, small orchestra (harp, organ, strings), 1996 (a version for soprano, baritone, mixed chorus, organ, orchestra was also incorporated into Christmas Triptych)

I Wonder as I Wander (John Jacob Niles), soprano, mixed chorus, harp, string orchestra, 1997


Slow Dance on a Burial Ground; Paramell I; Paramell Va. James Fulkerson, muted trombone; Stephen Montague, piano (Lovely Music: VR2041, 1984) (LP)

Haiku. Philip Mead, piano (Unknown Public: upcd 03, 1993)

From the White Edge of Phrygia; String Quartet No. 1: in memoriam Barry Anderson and Tomasz Sikorski; Haiku; Tigida Pipa. Philip Mead, piano; Smith Quartet; Gregory Rose/Singcircle; Jahja Ling/The Florida Orchestra; Stephen Montague, live electronics (Continuum Records: CCD 1061, 1994)

String Quartet No. 1: in memoriam Barry Anderson and Tomasz Sikorski. Smith Quartet; Stephen Montague, live electronics (Le Chant du Monde: LDC 278 058/59, 1995)

Snakebite; Varshavian Autumn; At the White Edge of Phrygia; Behold a Pale Horse (second version). John Lubbock/Orchestra and Chorus of St. John's (ASV Records: DCA 991, 1997)

Silence: John, Yvar and Tim. Philip Mead, prepared piano; Smith Quartet (Centaur Records: CRC 2347, 1997)

Paramell VI. Relâche (Monroe Street Music: MSM 60102, 1997)

Mirabella: A Tarantella (original version). Margaret Leng Tan, toy piano (POINT Music/Philips Records: 465 345-2, 1997)

Mira; Tsunami. Thalia Myers, piano (NMC Recordings: D057, 1999)

Marche Militaire. Norwegian Army Band (Simax Classics: PSC1163, 2000)

Aeolian Furies. Guy Klucevsek, accordion (Starkland: ST-209, 2000)

Phrygian Tucket. Elisabeth Chojnacka, harpsichord (Opus 111: OPS 30-293, 2001)

Almost a Lullaby. Isabel Ettenauer, toy piano, wind chimes, fan, music box (Edition Eirelav: 001, 2005)

Folk Dances. Madeleine Mitchell, violin; Andrew Ball, piano (NMC Recordings: D098, 2005)

Southern Lament; Autumn Leaves (excerpts); Paramell Va; Haiku; For Merce C at the Barbican; After Ives... Monica Acosta, voice; Nancy Ruffer, flute; Philip Mead, piano, prepared piano; Stephen Montague, piano, live electronics; Elysian Quartet; London Sousa Band (NMC Recordings: D118, 2006)

Toccare Incandescent. Joseph Nolan, organ (Herald: HAVPCD 329, 2007)

String Quartet No. 1: in memoriam Barry Anderson and Tomasz Sikorski. Smith Quartet (Signum Records: SIGCD088, 2007)

The Poison Tree. Stephan Loges, baritone; Iain Burnside, piano; Owen Gunnell, tubular bell (NMC Recordings: D150, 2009)

Paramell VI. Topology Ensemble (Serrated Records: 281008, 2009)

Nobody Knows the Troubles I've Seen from Southern Lament. Elena Riu, piano (S4 Music: S4CD28002, 2009)

Mirabella: A Tarantella (original version). Phyllis Chen, toy piano (Concert Artists Guild: W-204877, 2010)

Vlug. Jos Zwaanenburg, flute (FMR Records: FMRCD316, 2011)

Two Dirges – Three Dances. McDuo (Revello Records: RR7814, 2011)