Josephine Stephenson

Biography

Josephine Stephenson is a French-British composer, arranger and performer working across contemporary classical and indie music.

A sought-after collaborator, she has worked as arranger and/or performer with prominent artists including Damon Albarn, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, Daughter, Jon Hopkins and Benjamin Biolay. With the Berlin-based ensemble s t a r g a z e she created new arrangements for the BBC David Bowie Prom in 2016 and special concerts with Lisa Hannigan in 2018, recorded on her ‘Live in Dublin’ album in 2019 (PIAS). She became an integral part of Elena Tonra’s solo project Ex:Re, having recorded cello and backing vocals on the studio album and toured worldwide as part of the live band, before curating and arranging a special performance of the album for Kings Place with string orchestra which led to the release of ‘Ex:Re with 12 Ensemble’ on 4AD and Glassnote Records in 2021.

As of 2023, Stephenson writes songs under the moniker Juneson, a project she launched with the release of ‘Si rien ne bouge’, a duo with the French singer-songwriter Laura Cahen, part of the latter’s EP ‘Des Filles’. She has worked on Cahen’s upcoming third studio album, co-produced together with Mike Lindsay and set to be released on PIAS in 2025.

Described as ‘music to arrest the ears and stop the heart’ by The Times, her concert music has been commissioned by institutions such as the BBC, Radio France, Wigmore Hall and Kings Place among others, performed by the likes of London Sinfonietta, Aurora Orchestra and Ensemble Intercontemporain, and broadcast on France Musique and BBC Radio 3. She was recently composer in residence at the Opera Grand Avignon, won an Ivor Novello award for her piece Comme l’espoir/you might all disappear and had two premieres as part of the Steve Reich edition of the Festival Présences in Paris in 2024.

With a focus on harmony, sonority and dynamic immediacy, her music is nurtured by an interest in investigating the intersections of so-called ‘high’ and ‘popular’ cultures and creating bridges between different (musical) worlds. She has scored short films by The Apiary (for Aesop), Antonia Luxem, Scott Vickers and Julia Jackman, including the latter’s ‘Emma, Change the Locks’ starring Olivia Williams, for which she won ‘Best Composer’ at Underwire Film Festival in 2015.