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Ward Stephens Edit Profile

composer , musician

Ward Stephens, musician, composer.


Stephens, Ward was born on September 9, 1879 in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. Son of Joseph Harris and R. Isabella (Sodene) Stephens.


Moved with parents to Newark, New Jersey, in childhood. Began piano studies at 7. Student Rutgers College, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1895-1899.

Studied piano with David Lyon and William Sherwood, organ with Wenham Smith and Singapore Polytechnic Warren. Later went to Europe and studied with various masters, including Brahms and Emil Sauer (Vienna), Scharwenka and Moszkowski (Berlin), Saint-Saëns, Massenet and de Pachmann (Paris).


Pierpont. Organist Calvary Presbyterian Church, Newark, New Jersey, at age of 12. Organist Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, New York, at 16, later with Pierrepont St. Baptist Church, Brooklyn, 3 years. Debut as pianist at Chickering Hall, New York, at 17.

Paris debut as pianist, playing Liszt’s E flat Concerto, July 1896. Toured European countries for 9 years. Returned to the United States, 1908.

From then devoted attention largely to composition and coaching singers in repertoire work. Accompanist for Mme. Yvette Guilbert during her tour of the United States, 1915. Toured United States with Suzanne Adams and Giuseppi Campanari (both of Metropolitan Opera, New York), Franz Wilczek, violinist, Victor Herbert, cellist.

Accompanist for Sembrich, Alda, Melba, Kubelik, Chaminade, Kreisler, Schumann-Heink, Matzenauer and others. Organist 1st Church of Christ, Scientist, New York, 1910-1921. Appointed assistant conductor of opera at Manhattan Opera House, New York.

Mus. director Mozart Festival and Ward-Stephens Male Chorus Club, Harrisburg.


  • Other Work

    • Composer of two symphonies, three light operas and several hundred songs, including Christ in Flanders, The Nightingale, Summertime, In the Dawn of an Indian Sky, The Cry of the Exile, etc.


Married Ida May Pierpont, September 11, 1904.

Joseph Harris Stephens

R. Isabella (Sodene) Stephens

Ida May Pierpont