You are here

Lake Forest resident and composer, Jim Stephenson, was invited to write a piece for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to debut in June 2019. The orchestra plays at Ravinia in Highland Park during the summer months. Sandy Swanson/22nd Century Media
Jacquelyn Schlabach, Assistant Editor
12:44 pm CDT April 13, 2018

For a final project in his summer course at Northwestern, Jim Stephenson was instructed to write a bad piece of music. 

The course, Adventures in Bad Music, had a backward approach to helping students discover what they do and don’t like. The 24-year-old at the time had never taken a composition course before this one, and surprisingly, wrote a “bad” piece that ended up being enjoyed by his classmates. It was that moment that encouraged Stephenson to begin writing music full time.