For over 30 years the American conductor Stephen Rogers Radcliffe has enjoyed a distinguished career leading performances with symphony orchestras, opera and ballet companies, chamber ensembles and musical theater groups. From critically acclaimed performances in New York’s Lincoln Center to his world premieres with the Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet Maestro Radcliffe has been recognized as one of the most dynamic conductors of his generation.
A youthful podium presence that combines a deep musical understanding with an intensely vibrant artistic personality, Mr. Radcliffe’s performances have won him praise on both sides of the Atlantic. His interpretation of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony was called “…brilliant, elegant, and refined…” by the Frankfurt Allegemeine Zeitung. His performance of Ravel’s “Mother Goose Ballet” was deemed “exquisite” by the Newark Star Ledger. Writing for New York Newsday, critic Tim Page said “Mr. Radcliffe understands the music with rare acuity; throughout the performance he emphasized the composer’s ties to the past, and dissonances were incorporated into a continuum.”
Equally at home on the symphonic stage, the ballet pit and in the opera house, Maestro Radcliffe has conducted the major operatic works of Puccini and Verdi and has led “Opera in The Park” performances for thousands of music lovers in New York City. From 1991-94, Stephen Rogers Radcliffe led over fifteen light opera productions annually as Music Director of the Blue Hill Troupe. His compact disc recordings of operatic works by Gian Carlo Menotti, Douglas Moore, and Paul Hindemith on Albany Records have been acclaimed in Gramophone and the American Record Guide. His 1991 New York premiere performance of John Harbison’s opera A Full Moon in March was called “provocative, concentrated, and powerful” by the New York Post, and his performances of operas by Kurt Weill and Darius Milhaud were called “urgent, amusing, and ingenious” by The New York Times. In the 2018 season Radcliffe returned to the Seattle Opera to conduct performances of Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land. His decade-long relationship with Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet includes leading world premiere performances of new works for the company’s “NEXT STEP” choreographer’s showcase series.
Maestro Radcliffe’s varied credits include the Rochester Philharmonic, Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Connecticut Ballet Theater, and the Prague Chamber Orchestra. As Principal Guest Conductor of the Hungarian Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. Maestro Radcliffe performed regularly in Europe with distinguished soloists in major venues including the Pest Vigado and Franz Liszt Academy. His 1998 performance from the Liszt Academy with soloists from the Hungarian State Opera was broadcast throughout the country on Hungarian National Television. With professional fluency in four languages, Radcliffe returns regularly to Europe to work with these distinguished institutions in touring projects, concert performances and compact disc recordings.
Maestro Radcliffe’s active conducting schedule has included leading orchestras here in the United States, Canada, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Latin America, Africa and China.
In 1990, at the invitation of the Chinese government, he became the youngest foreign conductor in history to lead a mainland Chinese orchestra. Stephen Rogers Radcliffe conducted the first Chinese performances of Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’Été and Bernstein’s West Side Story in a series of concerts for the First International Arts Festival in Beijing and Tianjin, China. In the 1995 season he traveled to Morocco to conduct the Brahms Serenade No. 1, and Ravel’s Mother Goose in a series of four concerts as part of the Azila International Music Festival.
An authority on the chamber orchestra repertoire, Mr. Radcliffe has been recognized as one of the country’s most gifted programmers. His research into French, American, and Viennese orchestra music has resulted in premiere performances, historical recreations, and award-winning educational programs. Throughout his career, Mr. Radcliffe has developed a deep relationship to the music of Gustav Mahler and has performed all the composer’s major orchestral song cycles including Das Lied von der Erde, Rückert Lieder, Lieder eines fahrenden gesellen and Des Knaben Wunderhorn.
An advocate and master conductor of contemporary and 20th century music, Stephen Rogers Radcliffe has commissioned and premiered numerous works. His performances of major compositions by such distinguished American masters as Aaron J. Kernis, Joan Tower, John Corigliano, Ned Rorem and George Rochberg have won him praise from composers, critics and audiences. In the 2016 season Radcliffe collaborated with cellist Joshua Roman for the west coast premiere of Aaron J. Kernis’s Dreamsongs for Cello and Orchestra at the League of American Orchestra’s National Conference. Maestro Radcliffe’s 20th century compact disc recordings include the Music of George Rochberg on the New World label, and American Portraits featuring chamber orchestra works by Copland, Piston, Griffes, and Ned Rorem on the Albany label.
Stephen Rogers Radcliffe, the young American conductor understands the music with rare acuity.
Radcliffe drew out the score's dark beauties with skill and keen insight...
We have to give admirable credit to Stephen Rogers Radcliffe for his energy and perseverance, hard work, and stamina...
Stephen Rogers Radcliffe has in recent years proved himself a masterly programmer, presenting unusual material from the past and present in imaginative yet coherent juxtapositions