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Alison Stephens

Alison Stephens excelled in playing the Mandolin, enjoying huge success with the instrument and being credited with establishing it as a serious classical instrument in its own right.

She played all over the world and her work also featured in a number of film scores – most notably Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. She died tragically young, succumbing to cancer at the age of 40.

A talented musician

Alison Stephens was born in Bickley in the county of Kent in 1970. A talented mandolin player, she began learning the instrument before she was in her teens; later moving on to play the instrument most notably in a number of film scores.

Early career

Her career as a soloist began even before she left Haileybury when, still only 17, she played her first concerto at the Barbican in London. She went on to become the first person ever to graduate from Trinity College of Music in mandolin and was immediately appointed to teach the instrument.

Notable moments

As well as teaching and tutoring students from all over the world, Alison also toured and gave recitals, in addition to working with leading opera and ballet companies. Her success meant she was in regular demand, going on to play on numerous film scores – most notably playing in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, the film adapted from the book of the same name by Louis de Bernieres.

A life cut short

Following this success, she began to compose for the mandolin whist continuing to broadcast and perform all over the world. She raised large sums for Cancer Research through concerts and royalties from sales of her recordings, before tragically succumbing to the disease herself in 2010.

Aged just 40 at her death, her life was tragically cut short in her prime but she left a significant legacy, being credited with both popularising the mandolin and lending it serious credibility for the first time as a classical instrument.

More information

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