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Stephen Mitton (b. 1991) is a composer, performer, and educator based in Mesa, Arizona. He holds a doctoral degree in composition from the University of Michigan where he studied composition with Bright Sheng and Michael Daugherty as well as a master's degree in composition from Arizona State University. Dr. Mitton has written for a wide variety of genres ranging from contemporary dance to full orchestra and is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the prestigious Commissioned Composer Award from the Music Teachers National Association. Stephen has been commissioned by  professional ensembles and organizations across the country, with recent works for the Fry Street Quartet, the University of Michigan, Chicago Public Schools, and Winona State University.


In his compositions, Stephen aims to grab audiences’ attention with short, memorable motifs and melodies that serve an overarching narrative or concept and is intrigued by the possibilities that arise when a variety of harmonic languages converge to this end: lush tonality interspersed with harmonies built on open fourths and fifths; Debussian flourishes juxtaposed with twelve-tone rows. His music often centers on the psychological landscapes where language, memories, dreams, and obscure emotions overlap, working with concepts like multilingualism, nostalgia, liminality, and the individual’s sense of self. He is also deeply engaged in music about humankind's impact on the environment and the Earth's immense biodiversity, having written music about plastics pollution in the oceans and other topics in wildlife conservation.


Dr. Mitton is also an active performer, with a bachelor’s degree in cello performance from Utah State University where he studied chamber music with the Fry Street Quartet. He has participated in master classes with such groups as the Emerson, Ying, and Brentano String Quartets, and has given well-received performances throughout the United States. He currently holds music faculty positions at Tempe Preparatory Academy, Utah State University, and Rio Salado College.

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