Ronald Stevenson

'... surely among the very greatest of British musicians ...' - Patric Standford

The British composer, pianist, broadcaster, teacher and writer Ronald Stevenson was born on 6 March 1928 in Blackburn, Lancashire. Of Celtic heritage, he was Scottish on his father's side and Welsh on that of his mother. He studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music, discovered and helped to revive the works of Busoni, was friends with John Ogdon and corresponded with Percy Grainger.

Stevenson's many works include hundreds of compositions for solo piano, including the seventy-five minute Passacaglia on DSCH for piano, a large collection of songs, two piano concertos, cello and violin concertos and chamber music.

As a teacher, he lectured in composition at Cape Town University (1962-65), delivered seminars at Juilliard (1987) and created a course called The Political Piano at York University in the 1980s.

Stevenson gave many BBC radio programmes of Busoni's music, and scripted, introduced and performed as solo pianist in a ninety-minute Busoni BBC TV documentary. He also scripted and broadcast a series of radio programmes on the Scots Pipe, Harp and Fiddle.

Ronald Stevenson died on 28 March 2015,  aged eighty-seven, at his home in West Linton, in the Scottish Borders.

A portrait of Stevenson by Scottish painter Victoria Crowe hangs in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.





A selection of articles about Ronald Stevenson

Spotlight. Precious, Luminous Gems - Esdras Mugatik listens to music for accordion by British composer Ronald Stevenson (1928-2015). '... a magical capacity to differentiate levels of sound ...'

Profile. Allan Rae: Three Symphonies - A detailed look at some astounding music by one of Canada's great composers

Profile. Ronald Stevenson - A little memory, a little overview and a little comment

CD Spotlight. Songs of Stevenson - Roderic Dunnett listens to a recital by Scottish bass Brian Bannatyne-Scott. '... a notably original disc ... well worth exploring.'

CD Spotlight. A Noble Simplicity - Piano music by Ronald Stevenson, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Christopher Guild delivers impressively clear and assured performances ...'

Ensemble. Rapturous Praises - Yasmin Rowe, Sarah Sew and Tadashi Imai at London's Wigmore Hall, heard by Bill Newman

New Talent - Hannah Yip's Derby Cathedral recital impresses Mike Wheeler

An Eloquent Devotee - Ronald Stevenson's writings on Grainger, read by Robert Anderson

CD Spotlight. A Spectral Atmosphere - Murray McLachlan plays music by Shostakovich and friends, recommended by Howard Smith. '... an outright triumph for the label and for McLachlan.'

Imaginative Heights - Gordon Rumson looks forward to the Calgary Art Song Competition

Remarkable Scope - On Ronald Stevenson's eightieth birthday, Patric Standford reads Colin Scott-Sutherland's 'Ronald Stevenson: The Man and his Music'

Ensemble. Deeply satisfying - A piano recital by Jane Ford, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

Class actions? - Alistair Hinton replies to Patric Standford's latest on 'Class acts'