Stephen Wood is a composer of modern film and concert music who expresses a holistic view of the world. Wood’s musical languages fuse his studies and roots in the cultural genres of American Jazz, Romantic Impressionism, and Afro-Cuban.
In his ongoing two-decades long career Stephen Wood has forged a unique path as a composer, performer, and educator. Stephen has released 6 studio and live albums; premiered over 80 chamber, orchestral, and jazz compositions; scored numerous films and documentaries; performed and toured with his own jazz ensembles; travelled vast landscapes as a Wilderness Composer; developed environmental music programs to inspire environmental stewardship; and passed on musical knowledge to students of piano and composition.
In 2021, Stephen was recognized with an Individual Achievement in Music award by the Southern Shorts Awards for his dramatic orchestral score of Zack Burkett’s inspirational film “Champ”. And in 2020, the first director-composer collaboration with Burkett on his horror-comedy “Kung Pao Corpse” was awarded Best Horror Film at the Georgia Shorts Film Festival. Film Composing is a new focus where Stephen is able to pursue a core passion of telling stories through music. Working with filmmakers to support their film’s story, characters, and creative vision is the essence of Wood’s intention for creating an original film score.
Stephen’s interest in musical story telling was first cultivated in his love for vast wilderness landscapes leading him on a decade long wilderness composing adventure. As a Wilderness Composer, Stephen has traveled the United States in search of inspiration from our country’s wildest places. Inspiration was found and full-filled with premieres of over 20 solo, chamber, and symphonic compositions painting stories of the unique plants, animals, and landscapes found during wilderness artist residencies. Stephen has had the great pleasure of serving as Composer-in-Residence for Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (2014); The Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation and Flathead National Forest (2014); Cumberland Island National Seashore (2016); Daniel Boone National Forest and the Red River Gorge Geological Area (2016); Apalachicola National Forest (2017); Sierra Club (Georgia Chapter) for the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River (2017); Denali National Park (2017); and the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Foundation and Cuser-Gallatin National Forest (2018).
Wood’s visionary Inspiring Stewardship workshop has received national interest for its fusion of music, soundscape, environmental studies, and wilderness. In 2016 Inspiring Stewardship was the recipient of the National Park Foundation’s “Every Kid in the Park” grant for its work with the Daniel Boone N.F. in central Kentucky elementary classrooms. Inspiring Stewardship is an educational workshop allowing Stephen to teach students, schools, and communities the joys of being musically inspired by nature.
Stephen’s compositions have been premiered at film festivals around the country and performed by major ensembles including: Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra, Atlanta Contemporary Ensemble, Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival chamber ensembles, New Music on the Bayou Festival ensembles, Chamber Cartel, ensemblenewSRQ, and others.
More information and sales of scores, recordings, and films are available through his website – www.stephenwoodmusic.com.
Stephen received his B.A. in Composition from The Ohio State University and his M.M. in Jazz Studies from Georgia State University. He began his higher academic musical studies at the University of Montana. Stephen is from Delaware, Ohio and has lived in Missoula, MT; Columbus, OH; Atlanta, GA; and North Bend, WA.