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Stephen Benfall : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Rough cut : for percussion quartet by Stephen Benfall, from the CD Mizu to kori

Photo of Stephen Benfall

Stephen McRae Benfall (b. 9 May 1957) studied composition with Roger Smalley and electronic music with John Exton at the University of Western Australia. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree with Honours in Composition and the J. Hodges Prize for undergraduate composition in 1983, and in 1984 was awarded a Fellowship to the Young Composers School in Sydney. He was also artist in residence at the Western Australian Institute of Technology's School of Art and Design in 1984 and two years later was awarded a Fellowship to the Australia/New Zealand Dance Course in Christchurch, NZ, under the direction of Graeme Murphy.

A saxophonist and clarinettist, Benfall has performed with a variety of ensembles, including orchestras, big bands, rock and blues bands. His music has been commissioned and performed by many ensembles, including the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the West Australian Ballet, Flederman, Evos Music, the Seymour Group, the West Australian Saxophone Quartet, 2-Dance Plus, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, John Harle, Henri Bok, Harry Sparnaay and Nova Ensemble.

Benfall has won a number of awards for his music, including the 1990 Sounds Australian Critics Award for Best Tape Piece and the Jean Bogan Prize for a solo piano work (Hammers) in 1991. Benfall was mainly active as a composer in the 1980s and 90s, though he has more recently (2016-18) revised a number of older works. He has worked for 30 years as a music teacher with the WA Education Department.

Stephen Benfall — current to December 2020

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
1991 Jean Bogan Prize for Piano Composition Winner Hammers

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Empathy : for flute, violin and violoncello (1994) Commissioned by Seymour Group.
Shadows : for soprano saxophone and ensemble (1993) Commissioned by the Festival of Perth.
In consequence : full orchestra (1992) Commissioned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in celebration of its sixtieth year, 1992
Blues at eleven : for solo instrument and piano (1991) Commissioned by Helen Tuckey with funds provided by Western Australian Government. Department for the Arts.
Digital sheet music sample Saxophone quartet No.1 : saxophone quartet (1988) Commissioned by Roger Garrood.
Digital sheet music sample Sonata : for oboe and piano (1987) Commissioned by Roger Smalley.