Stephen Craigen | Southbank SinfoniaStephen Craigen
Horn

After reading music at Trinity College Cambridge, Stephen graduated with a master’s from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2014. His studies were gratefully supported by the Musicians Benevolent Fund, from whom he received the Charles Leggett Award, and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.

While at the Guildhall, Stephen studied with David Pyatt, Jeff Bryant and Richard Bissill and was a winner of the Armourers and Brasiers Brass Prize. As Principal Horn of various Guildhall ensembles, Stephen performed under the direction of many distinguished conductors, such as Gianandrea Noseda and Edward Gardner.

A keen chamber musician, Stephen held the Instrumental Award for Chamber Music while studying at Cambridge, and performed the Ligeti and Brahms Horn Trios at the Guildhall School. Also an active performer of new music, he took part in the London Sinfonietta Academy in 2013, directed by composer George Benjamin, and has worked with composers such as Rolf Hind, Mark Simpson and Kate Whitley.

Stephen is particularly interested in education, inspiring young instrumentalists in his work with London Symphony Orchestra On Track and the innovative Multi-Story Orchestra.

Since graduating, Stephen has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the European Union Youth Orchestra, and is looking to build a busy freelance career as an orchestral musician.

Stephen’s place in Southbank Sinfonia is generously supported by the Guernsey Bursary Consortium . 

Q&A

What inspired you to become a professional musician?
I fell in love with Dennis Brain’s recordings of the Mozart Concertos very quickly after my parents bought the CD when I was young. I guess I knew then that I had chosen the right instrument!

What’s on your playlist right now?
Beethoven’s Late String Quartets – Takacs Quartet; Aphex Twin – Syro; John Adams’ Harmonielehre; Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
In my teenage years I was a pretty avid heavy metal fan. I only occasionally revisit that phase of my life!

 

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