This February, Stef will be singing on BBC2’s ‘Great British Railway Journeys’ as part of the East Grinstead to Guildford episode, which sees presenter Michael Portillo visit Dorking’s Leith Hill Place, birthplace of Vaughan Williams and host to Stef’s frequent choral and folk singing workshops.

Stef will be performing her own piano and voice version of Vaughan Williams favourite folk song, Bushes and Briars, inspired by RVW’s choral arrangement of the same song.

Front page image: Sarah Naim

Stef’s newest composition ‘Face Painting’ will be premiered by the Dr K Sextet this February, as part of The Pierrot Projecta new exhibition of simultaneously visual and aural installations by pairs of contemporary artists and composers, drawing inspiration from Arnold Shoenberg’s seminal composition, ‘Pierrot Lunaire’.

Curated by Niamh White, the three composer-artist collaborations will be presented during an exhibition at The Display Gallery from 5 – 17 February 2016, with an opening night concert  on Thursday 4th Feb.

Stef’s piece, conceived in collaboration with visual artist Jörg Obergfell, juxtaposes soundscapes evoking both laughter and melancholy laughter. The players will perform wearing Jörg‘s Pierrot-inspired abstract masks, which draw inspiration from both folk costumes and modernist aesthetics:

(Images: Jörg Obergfell) mask 1mask 2

This Christmas, Stef Conner’s Timeline Songs presents two very special concerts celebrating the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. The programmes weave together music from the time of the Angevin Kings and the early Plantagenets, folk songs telling stories the of history’s greatest tyrants, King John and King Herod, Christmas carols and new arrangements of well-known protest songs that champion humankind’s hard-won freedoms.

The first performance, on Saturday 28th November, sees the return of Leith Hill Timeline Choir to at St. Michael and All Angels, Mickleham, following their debut Christmas Concert in 2014. The choir will also perform a short excerpt from the 16th century mystery play, The Shearmen and Tailors’ Pageant, which includes the famous ‘Coventry Carol’.

The second performance, on Saturday 5th December at St Mary’s, Barnes (London) features soloists Susannah Austin and Lisa J Coates, who will be joined by members of Leith Hill Timeline Choir for several songs.

Music and history fans are also invited to join Stef for singing workshops before each concert, in which they will be introduced to the music of the troubadours, including ‘Ja Nus Hons Pris’, a song in Old French by King Richard the Lionheart! No previous singing experience is required and all are welcome.

Book your tickets here!

Stef’s opera ‘People Watch’, written for Streetwise Opera with librettist Bill Bankes-Jones, premiered this summer on the opening night at Tête-à-Tête opera festival. The performers, most of whom have experienced homelessness, absolutely triumphed, provoking both laughter and tears among the sold-out crowd. Critics praised the piece for its “rousing chorus of hope” (The Stage), “stunning works of composition” (The Big Issue), and “Celtic harmonies” with “shivering, spiky string effects” (Bachtrack). 

You can watch the full opera online here: http://www.tete-a-tete.org.uk/peoplewatch/

‘The Flood’, the debut album by the Lyre Ensemble, is now available to buy on CD, complete with full translations, and ships anywhere in the world.  The music is also available to download on amazon.

The Flood is the first full-length album of cutting-edge new music in ancient Babylonian and Sumerian languages. Accompanied by the reconstructed 4500-year-old Gold Lyre of Ur, Stef’s sung Mesopotamian poetry oozes, swoops, lurches and wails its way from gentle incantations for baby quietening and poems in praise of mothers to the snarling curses of dying monsters and deathly threats of an enraged Goddess!