Stephen Rogers Radcliffe was the Harry and Mildred Bemis Endowed Fellow at Brandeis University where he received his PhD in Musicology in 2014. However, the creation of compelling and engaging historical performance projects reflecting research and scholarship were hallmarks of his early professional career. In performances at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and in national and international tours, recordings and radio broadcasts, Maestro Radcliffe was an early pioneer of the thematic and historical programming trends that came to shape the New York classical music scene. Writing for the New York Times, Bernard Holland observed that “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.”
His critically acclaimed four-concert series “Music of the Verein Revisited” presented the New York premieres of chamber ensemble transcriptions of large orchestral works created by Arnold Schoenberg and his students. Maestro Radcliffe helped create the first performance editions of many of these transcriptions and their premiere performances were lauded for their artistic excellence and historical significance.
In 1989 Maestro Radcliffe worked with the Kurt Weil Foundation on a performance project involving the recreation of the 1918 Baden-Baden Music Festival which saw the premiere of Weil’s Mahagonny and other operatic works by Paul Hindemith, Ernest Toch and Darius Milhaud. His 1999 four concert season “In Search of America” featured composer rountable discussions and premiere performances of works by George Rochberg, Ned Rorem and others.
Maestro Radcliffe’s dissertation on the early works of Giuseppe Verdi explores how dramatic aspects of spatial, temporal and psychological dislocation paradoxically fostered greater structural integration and musical cohesion in the composer’s recitatives and scenas.
His articles and essays have investigated topics of interest in such broad repertoire as Alban Berg’s Lulu, Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, Mozart Sinfonia Concertantes, and Bach Cantatas.
In the performance Radcliffe let the music flow and trusted the musicians. Solos were thoughtfully phrased, string sections often sounded like one instrument, cross rhythms and syncopations were accomplished with polish. The whole was infused with momentum and excitement, yet always sounded musical.
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