• Most Respected Classical Music Platform
  • #classicalForever

Founder of Cape Town Chamber Orchestra Allan Stephenson has Died, Aged 71

Known also as a composer, he wrote over 100 pieces and advocated for South African composers


Born in the U.K. in 1949, Stephenson started playing piano at age seven and cello when he was 13. A graduate of the Royal Manchester College of Music, he later moved to South Africa where he became sub-principal cellist with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) in 1973.

In addition to teaching cello at South African College Schools, he lectured in cello and composition at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and directed the UCT College Orchestra.

Of his many compositions, Stephenson worked on one act of the "Mandela Trilogy" — a three act opera documenting the three stages of Nelson Mandela's life. He also conducted South Africa’s first performance of Nielsen’s Symphony no.4 and the nation’s first classical CD recording. 

"Allan Stephenson had a very full life and will be a presence in the memories of many musicians in South Africa," wrote cellist Daniel Neal, a friend of Stephenson’s and CPO librarian.

"Sad to hear about the passing of Allan Stephenson in Cape Town,” wrote former student Isadore Campbell, on her Facebook page. "A selfless musician and mentor who did not discriminate on the basis of the race of his students at the UCT Faculty of Music in Rondebosch where I first met him as a BMus student. 

"That was rare and brave at the time of political turmoil in apartheid ravished South Africa, when most lecturers maintained questionable attitudes during the repressive state," she continued. "His absence and contribution to music will be sorely missed."

Our condolences to Mr. Stephenson's family, friends, students, and colleagues.

upcoming events

june 2024

06junAll Day13Khachaturian International Violin Competition(All Day) Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall, 46 Mesrop Mashtots Ave, Yerevan, ArmeniaEvent Type :competitions Event TagsKhachaturian International Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

08junAll Day16Premio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition(All Day) Romolo Valli Municipal Theatre, Piazza Martiri del 7 Luglio, 1, 42121 Reggio Emilia RE, Italy Event Type :competitions Event TagsPremio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition,string quartet competitionFOLLOW

17junAll Day22Primrose International Viola Competition(All Day) Colburn School, 200 S Grand AveEvent Type :competitions Event TagsPrimrose International Viola Competition,Primrose Viola CompetitionFOLLOW

july 2024

16julAll Day27Johann Sebastian Bach International Cello & Baroque Cello Competition(All Day) Thomaskirche Leipzig, Thomaskirchhof, Thomaskirchhof 18, 04109 Leipzig, GermanyEvent Type :competitions Event TagsBaroque Cello Competition,Cello Competition,Johann Sebastian Bach International Cello CompetitionFOLLOW


Get ALL our latest conveniently by EMAIL

Our newsletter is trusted by over 100,000+ industry professionals around the world

We deliver news straight to your inbox and will never share your data.
You'll never miss a beat!

click left click right