Remembering Composer Stephen Paulus

composer Stephen Paulus (1949-2014)
Stephen Paulus (1949-2014)

American composer Stephen Paulus passed away yesterday due to complications from a significant stroke he suffered last year. He was 65 years old.

Paulus leaves behind a wide range of works, including three violin concertos. William Preucil recorded the first concerto with conductor Yoel Levi and the Atlanta Symphony in the early 1990s. That recording also features the thrilling, eleven minute adventure for orchestra, Concertante, written in 1989 (find on iTunes).

In addition to composing, Paulus was a longstanding member of the board of directors of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers).

Choral music will be an important part of Stephen Paulus’ legacy. One of his most celebrated works is the short Pilgrims’ Hymn from his Leo Tolstoy-based opera, The Three Hermits. Take a moment and listen:

Also listen to Hymn to the Eternal Flame and this setting of the the old American hymn, The Road Home.

1 thought on “Remembering Composer Stephen Paulus”

  1. I am very sorry to hear about the passing of Stephen Paulus. After I had composed my first opera, I sought his advice. He was very generous with his suggestions and advice. I saw/heard his opera “The Postman Always Rings Twice” in a New York production by the Center for Contemporary Opera. His work was moving, powerful, and you knew that a master craftsman was at work. I have always wondered why his works weren’t performed by the New York City Opera or the Met. Stephen Paulus’ work showed real mastery, not like some of the clumsy, poorly constructed contemporary stuff that NYC Opera and the Met actually produced. I hope American opera companies will now begin to rectify this inscrutable omission from their repertories.


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