Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Stephens, Charles Edward

635754Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 54 — Stephens, Charles Edward1898Robin Humphrey Legge

STEPHENS, CHARLES EDWARD (1821–1892), musician, who was born at 12 Portman Place (now Edgware Road) on 18 March 1821, was nephew to Catherine Stephens, countess of Essex [q. v.] He studied the pianoforte and violin under J. M. Rost, Cipriani Potter, F. Smith, and H. Blagrove, and theory under James Alexander Hamilton [q. v.] After the completion of his school career, he was organist successively to St. Mark's, Myddelton Square; Holy Trinity, Paddington; St. John's, Hampstead; St. Clement Danes and St. Saviour's, Paddington. The last-named post he resigned in 1875. Stephens was a fellow or member of most of the English musical institutions, an original member of the Musical Association in 1874 and treasurer of the Philharmonic in 1880, and of the South-Eastern Section of the National Society of Professional Musicians. He died in London on 13 July 1892, and was buried at Kensal Green. Stephens was an accomplished musician, a good teacher, an excellent pianist, and in his younger days a capable violinist. His compositions, which are numerous, include a symphony in G minor, played at the Philharmonic in 1891, and a quantity of pianoforte and chamber music. In 1880 Stephens gained both the first and second prizes for string quartets offered by Trinity College, London. He was a clever speaker and writer, as his papers read before the Musical Association bear witness.

[Overture, iii. 86; Brown's Dict. of Musicians furnishes a list of Stephens's compositions; British Musical Biography; Musical Times; Grove's Dict. of Music and Musicians.]

R. H. L.