Denis William Stevens, musicologist and conductor
born High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire 2 March 1922
Secretary, Plainsong and Mediaeval Music Society 1958-63
Editor, Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians 1959-63
Professor, Royal Academy of Music 1960
Founder-President, Accademia Monteverdiana 1961-2004
Professor of Musicology, Columbia University 1964-76
CBE 1984
died London 1 April 2004.

In 1961 while Denis Stevens was Professor of Musicology at Columbia University he founded the Accademia Monteverdiana Inc. in the State of New York as a non-profit organisation. The aim of the foundation was to encourage and promote early and classical music, in particular that of Claudio Monteverdi, with publications, concerts and research. The inaugural concert took place that same year at the Bath Festival with Stevens and Yehudi Menuhin performing in the presence of one of the first AM trustees, Nadia Boulanger.

For the next forty years the AM produced several hundred recordings of music for different labels ranging from the medieval to Beethoven, many of which are still available through the websites Schola Antiqua and Baroque Music Club as cds. Concerts were given throughout Europe and America including such grandiose and hallowed settings as the festivals of Salzburg and Westminster Abbey. Research was co-ordinated via the cream of Professor Stevens' graduate students to produce publications and editions of early music which were discovered in various libraries and then brought to the public often for the very first time in the 20th century.

January 2009
following numerous requests from musicians and academics.
The Letters of Claudio Monteverdi
edited by Denis Stevens
Full information on this important reissue

Accademia Monteverdiana - In Memoriam

Saint Cecilia's Day, November 22nd, 2007 at 8pm
Concert at St Peter's Church, High Street, Limpsfield, Surrey RH8 ODG, UK, Alice Neary, organ. Dedication by the Bishop of Southwark of the completed stained glass window by John Hayward and memorial plaque to the notable musicians laid to rest in St Peter's churchyard: Frederick Delius and his wife Jelka, Sir Thomas Beecham, Norman Del Mar, Eileen Joyce, and Denis Stevens.

Saint Cecilia's Day, November 22nd, 2006 at 3pm
Concert in memory of Denis Stevens CBE at St Peter's Church, High Street, Limpsfield, Surrey RH8 ODG, UK. In support of the commissioned stained glass window to English music by John Hayward. St Peter's churchyard is notable for the musicians laid to rest there: Frederick Delius and his wife Jelka, Sir Thomas Beecham, Norman Del Mar, Eileen Joyce, and Denis Stevens.

August, 2006
Publication of the revised and expanded 2006 (posth) edition of Denis Stevens' Autobiography Fragmenta Autobiographica, details of which can be found on a separate webpage, from which copies can be ordered direct through the internet.
Denis Stevens: Fragmenta Autobiographica

June 12th, 2006 at 6pm
Concert dedicated to Denis Stevens, sponsored by the Accademia Monteverdiana
Galileo’s Daughters
Sarah Pillow, soprano, Mary Anne Ballard, viola da gamba
with special guest Elaine Comparone, harpsichord
Baroque nymphs, nuns and courtesans:
17th-century Italian songs and ariettas by Claudio Monteverdi, Barbara Strozzi, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Lucrezia Orsina Vizzana, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, Luzzasco Luzzaschi and Giulio Caccini.
Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, New York University,
24 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011-8604
Telephone: (212) 998-8730.

January 2005
Le Grand Baton the journal of the Sir Thomas Beecham Society in America publishes Number 75, Volume 31 Number 2 ISSN 04343336 dedicated 'In Memoriam' to Denis Stevens including an obituary of him. He was not only a longtime member of the society but an Associate Editor of this journal.

Trinity Term 2005
The first Denis Stevens Memorial Prize in Music is given at Jesus College Oxford. This is awarded annually to students for meritorious work in the history and analysis of Western music.

April 2005
Sheila and Daphne Stevens visit St Peter's Parish Church, Limpsfield, Surrey to plant flowers on the place where Denis Stevens is buried almost exactly a year after his death. The vicar is organising a music memorial window to be designed and installed in stain glass by John Hayward who has done some beautiful work in such places as the Great West Window at Sherborne Abbey Dorset. This will be dedicated to the memory of all the musicians who are laid to rest here as well as Denis, there are amongst others Frederick Delius and his wife, Jelka, Sir Thomas Beecham, the Harrison Sisters, Jack Brymer and Norman Del Mar. Anyone who is interested in being involved with supporting this project should email Daphne at

May 2005
Thomas Tomkins: the Last Elizabethan
A posthumous edition of Denis's original 1952 book has been updated and incorporated into a biography of Tomkins by Anthony Boden. This edition also has commentaries on Tomkins' music by Bernard Rose, Peter James and David R.A. Evans. It is available through Ashgate Publishers, (ISBN Number 0754651185) see their website at

July 2005
Daphne meets with the director and producers of the Varazdin Baroque Evenings in Zagreb to discuss their future plans for the Denis Stevens edition (1967) of Monteverdi's opera (1607) L'Orfeo (described in as 'magnificent' and 'outstanding' by customers) to be produced at the September festival of early music. It is slated for a 2007 production particularly because it is the 40th anniversary of the première conducted by Denis for the Gulbenkian Music Festival XI, in Lisbon. The edition is still used frequently throughout America and Europe and is available (Order Number NOV 070214) through Novello & Company at . An exhibition is also planned for the VBV festival on the professional association and friendship between the Croatian musicologist Dragan Plamenac and Denis Stevens.

August to December 2005
Beginning in the Autumn a new edition has been produced of Fragmenta Autobiografica (ISBN No. 0970328834) by Denis Stevens which has been out of print since 2001. There are three new chapters including two by Denis's wives, Sheila and Lillian and the funeral tribute by his colleague at the University of London Professor Anthony Pryer. There are some new illustrations to this edition including photos and original drawings never seen before. There is also a discography and a bibliography included and it will be published by the Accademia Monteverdiana early in 2006. It will be available for direct purchase on this website.

October 2005
Milan, Palazzo Reale & Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna
Research “Dall'immagine al suono” (see page 12a5-7) dedicated to the memory of Denis Stevens was published for the catalogue of the exhibition on “Caravaggio e L'Europa”. This chapter was written by Signor Giorgio Neerman, a Venetian historian who took part in this major Italian art exhibit under the directorship of the president, the Honourable Vittorio Sgarbi. The catalogue is published in Italian by Skira and is available at the exhibition from its opening on 15th October or for more information apply through the internet at

4th November 2004
Early Music the quarterly journal of Oxford University Press and edited by Tess Knighton published an obituary for Denis Stevens by Frank Dobbins in Volume xxxii see page 643. Refer to

Recordings by Denis Stevens from the Baroque Music Club

Nine Trio Sonatas, 1697.
Carl Pini & John Tunnell, violins
Haroldl Lester, Gough harpsichord
BMC 10 – Henry PURCELL
Chamber & Incidental Theatre Music
Music for Amphitryon, Distressed Innocence, Fairy Queen, Abdelazer. Trio Sonata, Harpsichord Suite, Violin Sonata. Fantasia on a Ground, and Overture in g.
A varied program of music written to entertain, in theater or the home - and no less entertaining today!
The Accademia Monteverdiana, Denis Stevens
BMC 16 – VIVALDI: "La Cetra"
This set of concertos was published by Vivaldi himself and dedicated to Austrian Emperor Charles VI. "Musically speaking, one of the finest and most interesting collections he has left us." (Peter Ryom).
The Accademia Monteverdiana, conductor Denis Stevens
Renaissance & Early Baroque Dances
Six varied and tuneful programs of dances, capturing perfectly the mood of infectious gaiety and lively enjoyment.
The Jaye Consort of Viols / Philip Jones Brass Ensemble
Desmond Dupré, lute / Harold Lester, harpsichord
The Accademia Monteverdiana Orchestra, Musical Director Denis Stevens.

Professor Stevens' Obituary may be found at

His autobiography, the first edition having sold out,
is now available in a revised and expanded edition.
Click for full detail and order form.

Future news and events of the
Accademia Monteverdiana
will be published on this website.