Valerie Stephan

(born in Paris, 1961), composer. She began playing piano at age six and later also learned the violin and classical percussion. She now lives in the western suburbs of Paris, near Maisons Laffitte. In 1981, she moved to New York to study piano and composition at the Mannes College of Music and the Juilliard School. At this time the meeting with Olivier Messiaen in the Summer of la Chartreuse-des-Avignons was decisive. She was heavily influenced by the harmonic style of Messiaen and decided to devote herself to the composition in a tonal style. She remains in Manhattan for 10 years, working in a recording studio that produces jingles and soundtracks. The so-called repetitive minimalist music of Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Philip Glass were a great opening and a source of inspiration. Back in France after writing two small pocket operas, the Montpellier Opera commissioned her in 1995 an opera with a libretto by Jean Cocteau  L’épouse injustement soupçonnée. She wrote the music during rehearsals in resonance with the work of staging directed by J. Nichet. The opera was a great success and repeated at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris in 1997 and toured France and Portugal (Lisbon). Since then Valerie Stephan is mainly devoted to education.
Selected works:  Pièces pour piano 2000-2011; Mélodies for children's choir on the Fables de La Fontaine and poems by Jacques Prévert, 2004- 2009; L’épouse injustement soupçonnée,  opera, from Jean Cocteau, staged by  J.Nichet, first performance the Montpellier opera, 1995 (in 1997, at the Théâtre de la Ville for  inauguration of the Théâtre des Abbesses);  les Oubliés, Pocket Opera, libretto by  Valerio Ferrari, for 2 singers, piano and marimba, 1993; Opéra de l’Avenue  A, for instrumental ensemble, soprano and baritone, first performance, Avignon, 1989; Mille regrets, for 8 cellos, 1997; Music pour 11 instruments, 1988. The edition of Pièces pour piano and Mélodies for children's choir is currently.