The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation’s prestigious Morton Gould Young Composer Award encourages concert music creators aged 12 to 30. Montclair State alumnus Aferdian Stephens received the 2018 award for his Trio for Violin, Clarinet and Piano. He was among 17 composers from around the world selected by a panel of composer judges from a competitive field of 520 entries.
After graduating from Montclair State with a degree in music composition in 2014, Stephens went on to earn an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a Master of Music degree from the Mannes School of Music. He is also the recipient of the Bohuslav Martin Award for his orchestral composition The Clock.
A multidisciplinary musician, he has composed one-act operas, song cycles and chamber pieces, as well as songs for Tony Award winner Chuck Coopers’ cabaret show The Blues of Langston Hughes.