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Steven Daverson (Northampton, UK, 1985) is a European composer whose work explores apparent paradoxes that arise from destructive musical forces, drawing on impossible or illogical spaces and scenarios in literature, cinema, and visual art. The music is fleeting and ephemeral, and yet possesses a latent violence that constantly threatens to surface. 


His music has been performed in the UK, Europe, and the US by ensembles including the Arditti Quartet, BBC Singers, Decoder Ensemble, Composers’ Ensemble, Explore Ensemble, Ensemble Contrechamps, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Recherche, Klangforum Wien, London Contemporary Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, London, Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble Nikel, Mercury Quartet, and the Moscow Studio for New Music; and at international festivals such as  the Aldeburgh Festival, Darmstadt Ferienkurse, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Music of Today (London), Traiettorie Festival (Parma), Unerhörte Musik (Berlin), and the Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik. A CD of his chamber and ensemble music—Shadow Walker—is available on col legno, and scores since 2008 are published  by Edition Gravis, Berlin.

Steven became the youngest-ever recipient of the Composers’ Prize of the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung in 2011, and was awarded the RPS Composition Prize in the same year. He has received commissions from the Hepner Foundation and the PRS Foundation, and other awards include the Mendelssohn Scholarship in 2008, and was winner of the Jurgenson Competition in 2009. In 2012 he was resident at the Herrenhaus Edenkoben with the Arditti Quartet, and most recently was a Fellow at the Internationales Künstlerhaus Villa Concordia, Bamberg, in 2019/20.

​He received his doctorate in composition from the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London, studying under Jonathan Cole as an AHRC scholar, and additional postgraduate tuition from Mark-Anthony Turnage. Previously he studied at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester, with David Horne. Steven also attended the Britten-Pears Young Artists Course in Aldeburgh, the Darmstadt Ferienkurse, Impuls Academy (Graz), and IRCAM (Paris).

Steven is Professor of Composition at the RNCM and Supervisory Tutor in Composition at the University of Cambridge, having previously taught at the RCM, Brunel University, and City University London.

This text was updated in February 2024. For the most recent version, please contact Steven directly.

Shorter texts can be found here.

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