Stephen McNeff (born 6 September 1951) is an Irish composer, best known for his work in contemporary theatre and opera.
Stephen McNeff was born in Belfast and grew up in south Wales. He studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music and undertook post-graduate research at the University of Exeter. He was Associate Director of Manchester University's Contact Theatre in 1979−80. From 1980−84, as Composer in Residence and Associate Director of the Music Theatre Studio Ensemble of the Banff Centre and then Comus Theatre Canada, he won a Dora Mavor Moore Award for his opera The Secret Garden (1985) based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. His theatre music in the 1990s saw McNeff receive a Scotsman award for the National Youth Music Theatre production of Aesop at the 1991 Edinburgh Festival before an unconventional staging of T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland by the Donmar for the BOC Covent Garden festival in 1994 brought him wider attention. He was appointed 'Composer-in-the-House' with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 2005 and later became Composer in Residence. During his three-year tenure, he wrote a number of major works for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and its contemporary counterpart Kokoro.
The Last King of Scotland (for 2013) after the novel by Giles Foden has been commissioned by Banff and Trinity Laban. An extract was performed by the commissioning conservatoire's students at the ROH2's Exposure series in 2012