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Stephen JaffeStephen Jaffe

Title: Mary D. B. T. and James H. Semans Distinguished Professor
Office Location: 079 Mary Duke Biddle, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: +1 919 660 3317
Email Address:
Web Page:
Office Hours:

By appointment.


  • M.A. University of Pennsylvania, 1978
  • B.A. University of Pennsylvania, 1977

Research Interests

My recent collaborations have been with the National Symphony Orchestra, The North Carolina Symphony, and the Kennedy Center Chamber Players, and have included orchestral works (Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Poetry of the Piedmont, and Cut Time) as well as chamber music (String Quartet No. 2 ("Sylvan and Aeolian Figures"). Fortunately, I am also able to pursue recording of my music, and to collaborate with other musicians on recording projects. This is ongoing, in particular with the third volume of recordings for Bridge, Inc. issued in May 2008. The recording involved collaboration with the 21st Century Consort (an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution), the North Carolina Symphony, and and the Odense Symphony Orchestra of Denmark. I see my life as a composer involving creation; collaboration, and advocacy for the art of music (including education, curation, and engagement with musical institutions).

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Hilda Honigman Cup, Sonata (in four parts) for cello and piano, North Carolina Music Teachers Association, October, 2013
  • American Academy of Arts & Letters, Elected to Membership, American Academy of Arts & Letters, May, 2012
  • Artist Fellowship, Bogliasco Foundation (Centro di Studi Ligure), November-December, 2010
  • Composer in Residence, Composers Conference at Wellesley College, August, 2008
  • Koussevitsky International Recording Award, Musicians Club of New York, November, 2006
  • Koussevitsky International Recording Award (KIRA), Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (Bridge 9141), Musician's Club of New York, 0 2006
  • Composer of the Year, 2005, Classical Recording Foundation, 0 2005
  • Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Fellowship, Brown University, 0 1996
  • Howard Foundation Fellowship, Brown University, 1996
  • American Academy Institute of Arts & Letters Lifetime Achievement Prize, May 1993
  • Arts and Letters Awards, American Academy of Arts and Letters, 0 1993
  • Lifetime Achievement Prize, American Academy Institute of Arts & Letters, 0 1993
  • Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, First Quartet, Kennedy Center, 0 1991
  • Brandeis University Creative Arts Citation, May 1989
  • Creative Arts Citation, Brandeis University, 0 1989
  • Artist Fellowship, North Carolina Arts Council, 0 1988
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, May, 1984
  • Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 0 1984
  • Rome Prize, American Academy in Rome, 1980-81
  • Composer/Librettist Fellowship Grant, National Endowment for the Arts, 0 1980
  • Rome Prize Fellowship, American Academy in Rome, 0 1980
  • Tanglewood Music Center Fellow, Boston Symphony, Tanglewood Music Center, 0 1979
  • Teaching Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 0 1977
  • Joseph H. Bearns Prize, for Four Nocturnes, Columbia University, 0 1976
  • Premier Medaille d’harmonie, Conservatoire de Genève, May 1972

Teaching (Spring 2024):

  (typical courses)

  • Music 162s.01, Introduction to composition Synopsis
    Biddle 104, WF 03:05 PM-04:20 PM
  • Music 690s-1.03, Composition sem (topics) Synopsis
    Biddle 069, F 10:05 AM-12:35 PM

Selected Professional Work:



  • Stephen Jaffe. HIP Concerto (Chamber Concerto No. 3). 2014 . [available here]  [author's comments]
  • Stephen Jaffe. DESIGNS II. 2012 .  [abs] [author's comments]
  • Stephen Jaffe. Concerto for Cello and Orchestra. 2004 . [available here]  [abs]
  • Stephen Jaffe. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. 2000 . [available here]  [abs]
  • Stephen Jaffe. Homage to the Breath. 2001 . [available here]  [abs]
  • Stephen Jaffe. Cíthera mea (Evocations): Spanish Music Notebook for Orchestra. Fall, 2008 . [PDF]
  • Stephen Jaffe. Light Dances (Chamber Concerto No. 2).  Merion Music, Inc. (Theodore Presser Co.), 2009 . [watch]  [abs] [author's comments]
  • Stephen Jaffe. SONATA (in Four Parts) for cello and piano.  144-40545 - piano score and part Merion Music, Inc. (Theodore Presser Co.), Spring, 2008 . [index.cfm]  [author's comments]
  •  Stephen Jaffe, Volume III. Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Poetry of the Piedmont, Homage to the Breath, and Cut Time.  Bridge Records, 2008 .  [abs]
  •  Concerto for Violin and Orchestra and Chamber Concerto ("Singing Figures").  Bridge Records, Inc. 9141, 2004 .  [abs]
  •  First Quartet for string quartet, Ciompi Quartet.  American Music for String Quartet Albany Records, Troy CD 073, 1993 .
  •  The Rhythm Of The Running Plough, Double Sonata, and Four Songs With Ensemble, Bridge CD BCD 9047. Speculum Musicae, D’Anna Fortunato, Anton Nel, Barry Snyder, Prism Orchestra (1994).  The Music of Stephen Jaffe Bridge Records, Inc., 1994 . (Bridge 9047)
  •  Spinoff for guitar, on Newdance: 18 Dances for Guitar Bridge 9084. David Starobin, guitar (1998) Grammy Award Nomination, 1999.  Bridge Records, Inc. 9084, .
  •  Three Figures and A Ground, Patricia Spencer, flute, Linda Hall, piano.  The Now and Present Flute Neuma 450-88., 1994 .
  •  Fort Juniper Songs for soprano, mezzo-soprano and piano, on To Sun, To Feast & To Converse Albany CD (Troy 172). Terry Rhodes, soprano, Ellen Williams, mezzo-soprano, Stephen Jaffe, piano (1995). 1995 .
  •  Designs and Three Figures and A Ground.  AUR (Arizona University Recordings) AUR CD 3123, 2006 . (Christine Gustafson, flute, Christopher Deane, percussion and William Anderson, guitar)
  • Stephen Jaffe. Quattro Mani: Kindred Spirits.  Bridge, 2008 .  [abs]
  •  Centering, for two violins, Linda Quan, Curtis Macomber, violins. C.R.I. 513. 1983 . [album.jsp]
  •  Impromptu for piano, on Strange Attractors: New American Music for Piano, Albany CD (Troy 231). Patricia Goodson, piano (1997). 1997 .
  • Light Dances (Chamber Concerto No. 2), Network for New Music, Philadelphia, 2009
    with Stephen Jaffe
  • Ci­thara mea (Evocations): Spanish Music Notebook for Orchestra, Meymandi Concert Hall/ Progress Ctr for the Arts, Raleigh, NC, October, 2008
    with Stephen Jaffe; North Carolina Symphony; Thomas Struth, visual artist; Grant Llewellyn, conductor
  • SONATA (in Four Parts) for cello and piano, Kennedy Center Chamber Players, May 17, 2008
    with Stephen Jaffe
  • Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, David Hardy, Cello, National Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin, Music Director, January 8-10, 2004
    with Stephen Jaffe
  • Poetry of the Piedmont (Poesis Piementosa), , 2006
    North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, Grant Llewellyn, Music Director.
  • String Quartet No. 2 ("Sylvan and Aeolian Figures"), Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Commission for Miami Quartet, 2005
  • Homage to the Breath: Instrumental and Vocal Meditations for Mezzo soprano and Ten Instruments,, Barlow Endowment, Brigham Young University and Twentieth Century Consort (Washington, DC), 2001
    with Stephen Jaffe; Christopher Kendall, conductor; 21st Century Consort; Milagro Vargas, mezzo-soprano
  • Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, Stuart Malina Music Director, 1999
    with Stephen Jaffe
  • Songs of Turning, Oregon Bach Festival and Fromm Foundation, Harvard University, 1995
    with Stephen Jaffe; James Madalena, Baritone; Terry Rhodes, Soprano; Oregon Bach Festival
  • Chamber Concerto ("Singing Figures"), Orchestra of St. Luke's, New York, 1994
    with Stephen Jaffe; Steve Taylor, Oboe; William Purvis, horn and conductor; Speculum Musicae
    Compositions Performed
  • Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Slovenska filharmonjia, David Hardy Cello, Toshiro Yonezu, cond., January 11, 2007
  • String Quartet No. 2 ("Sylvan and Aeolian Figures"), Miami Quartet, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and other venues, March, 2006 - April, 2006
  • CONCERTO for Violoncello and Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin, Kennedy Center, Washington, 2004/01/08
  • Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center, Wellesley College, 2008
  • Chamber Music Festival of the East, Bennington College, 2000
  • Composer in Residence, Oregon Bach Festival, 1996

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