South African loses leading composer, 71

South African loses leading composer, 71


norman lebrecht

August 03, 2021

Allan Stephenson, conductor of Cape Town Ballet and founder of the Cape Town Chamber Orchestra, has died in hospital of side-effects of pneumonia and diabetes.

Englsh born, Allan joined the Capte Town Philharmonic as a cellist in 1973 and became prominent in the city’s musical life. He composed 110 scores, including one act of the Mandela Trilogy opera.



  • Ruben Greenberg says:

    Rest in peace. It’s a great pity his music isn’t played more often, because it’s very beautiful.

  • Staal Burger says:

    Very sad. His compositions were all super and he was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. A simple question more than once resulted in an imprompu lecture, just for me – hugely entertaining. Thank you. Allan, may there always be music, wherever you are now.

  • Alan Paterson says:

    A great loss for us. Although British by birth he lived and worked in South Africa for almost fifty years and contributed greatly as musician, teacher, arranger and composer. I always enjoyed his compositions featured in classical music radio programs including our original ClassicFm then Classic 1027, now sadly defunct. RIP Allan.

  • Anthony Dinsdale says:

    So upset, having just found that Allan is no longer with us, immediately after listening to his best work again (Piccolo, Harpsichord concerto). He was kind enough to send me some CDs in answer to a request to replace an old tape recording of this, his best work. He was obviously a very nice guy, in addition to be being a great composer.