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Stephen Burtonwood was born in 1951 at Whitehaven in Cumbria in the U.K., the eldest of three children. The family lived in several locations due to his father's calling as a Methodist minister. Stephen trained to be a teacher of Music at Westminster College, North Hinksey, Oxford, where he held the post of college organist for two years. He gained the B.Ed. Oxon. in Music and Education. During this period of time Stephen studied the organ with Walter Hillsman and the late John Webster (University Organist and Professor of Organ at Trinity College of Music, London) at University College. During his teaching career Stephen taught music in three secondary schools and served as organist/choirmaster in a number of Methodist and Anglican churches. He is married to Heather and they have two daughters, both of whom are very musical.
Stephen's choral and organ music was initially championed by Ian Wells (former assistant organist and choral director at Liverpool Cathedral). Many of his organ and choral works were first aired at the cathedral in services such as that for the Royal Maundy and the Commemoration of the Battle of the Atlantic. Stephen's music is used internationally and some of his organ music can be listened to on Syrius CDs recorded by the late Massimo Nosetti. His music appears also on "Organ Party 4," a CD recorded by the celebrated international concert organist, Kevin Bowyer plays three of Stephen's works on the newly refurbished organ of Beverley Minster. Stephen's compositions appear in the catalogs of a number of music publishers. Stephen is a patron of the North and Midlands School of Music in the UK. As a Christian, Stephen hopes that his music may help to adorn worship, as well as any uses it may have in concert/recital settings.