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

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.