Stephen Paulus:  Biography and List of Works

The following information is from the European American Music Distributors Corporation, P.O. Box 850, Valley Forge, PA  19482 (phone:  610-648-0506); (fax:  610-889-0242); (e-mail:

      Stephen Paulus was born in 1949 in New Jersey and was raised in Minnesota.  He began studying piano formally at the age of 10 and came from a musical family where both parents and two younger brothers all played a variety of instruments - from piano and organ to trumpet.  His first compositions were written at about age 13 or 14.

      Paulus attended Macalester College in St. Paul for two years and completed a B.A. in Music at the University of Minnesota in 1971.  He completed an M.A. in Music Theory and Composition in 1974, and a Ph.D. in Composition in 1978, receiving both degrees from the University of Minnesota.  His principal composition teacher was Dr. Paul Fetler.

      While pursuing his graduate studies Paulus co-founded the Minnesota Composers Forum in 1973.  He served as Fund Raiser and Managing Composer of that organization for eleven years and in 1983 became a Composer in Residence with the Minnesota Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner.  After four years in that post he went on in 1988 to become Composer in Residence with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra working with Music Director, Yoel Levi and Conductor Laureate, Robert Shaw.  He has also served as Composer in Residence with the Dale Warland Singers.

      Paulus has been featured as a resident composer at numerous festivals where his works have been performed incluing the Tanglewood Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Oregon Bach Festival; and in the U.K. - the Aldeburgh and Edinburgh Festivals.  His Violin Concerto, written for William Preucil and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra won Third Prize in the 1988 Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards; Paulus has also received both Guggenheim and NEA composer Fellowships.

      Several works have been commissioned for a wide array of soloists, including Doc Severinsen, Evelyn Lear, Thomas Hampson, Robert MacDuffie, Paul Sperry, Hakan Hagegard, Janet Bookspan, William Preucil and Leo Kottke.  His operas have received performances from the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Washington Opera, Greater Miami Opera Association, Minnesota Opera and numerous others.  His second opera, The Postman Always Rings Twice, was the first American opera production ever to be presented at the Edinburgh Festival.  Orchestras that have commissioned or premiered Paulus works include those of New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Atlanta, St. Louis, Minnesota, St. Paul, the BBC and many others.

      Stephen Paulus is currently a Board Member of ASCAP and is active in the support of music by his colleagues.  He is married to Patty Paulus, an artist, and has two sons, Gregory and Andrew.

Works by Stephen Paulus

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