Stephen Mager: Composer -- Conductor

Stephen Mager, Conductor

“Stephen Mager …conducted Sunday’s highly commendable performance [of Berlioz],
one exuding reverence and tonal beauty. The Symphonic Choir sang with resonance and
transparency…All deserve praise, but most certainly does conductor Mager.”
Peter Jacobi, Bloomington Herald Times

Reviewing Joshua’s Boots, Harry Weber of the St. Louis-Riverfront Times remarked, “Conductor Stephen Mager…is sympathetic both toward his singers and toward Hailstork’s score.” In Dream of the Pacific, noted Tim Page of the Washington Post, “For this East Coast premiere, Mager conducted the small  orchestra …authoritatively.”

Stephen Mager holds a Doctor of Music degree from the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, where he also completed his master’s studies. His teachers have included Jan Harrington, Julius Herford, Thomas Binkley, Robert Shaw, Margaret Hillis, Robert Porco, Dale Warland, John Poole, and Carmen-Helena Tellèz. His doctoral recital performances included Igor Stravinsky’s Mass; L’Enfance du Christ by Hector Berlioz; and Poulenc’s Un Soir de Neige; as well as his own Missa Lucis.

An active choral and opera conductor, Dr. Mager has conducted for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in their education outreach performances. In this capacity he conducted the Midwest premiere of Hans Krasà’s Brundibàr (1997), and the world premiere of Adolphus Hailstork’s Joshua’s Boots (1999), as well as Lukas Foss’ The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (2000) and Cary John Franklin’s Thunder of Horses (2001). In 2004 Mager composed and conducted his own one-act opera, Dream of the Pacific, and subsequently conducted this work for Washington National Opera (2006), with performers from the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, at the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Dr. Mager was appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Masterworks Chorale, Belleville, Illinois in 2009. The ensemble performs in an annual subscription concert series, serving the southwest Illinois region. He has also conducted the Arcangeli Chamber Chorus, a summer festival professional ensemble with whom he recorded a full length album of his own Christmas carol settings (1998). In 1999 he conducted the chorus in a performance of the Requiem by Maurice Duruflé. Mager was conductor of the Masterworks Children’s Chorus, Belleville, from 1989 until 2000. Other conducting credits include the Saint Louis University Chorale; the Baden Chamber Orchestra; the Providence Singers, Saint Louis; and the St. Louis Chamber Chorus.

Stephen Mager is also an accomplished organist and pianist. He holds several performance certificates from the American Guild of Organists, including the Associate (AAGO) and the Choirmaster (ChM) certifications.