Stephen Cabell


Stephen Cabell (b. 1984) is a New York-based composer of sonically engaging and arrestingly wrought music that attempts to grab the listener from the very first moments and never lets go. His artistic mission is to write music that can be understood and appreciated by both casual and expert listeners.


  • Instrumentation: 2(II=pic).2.2.2 - - timp.perc (3) - pno - strings
  • Duration: 9 minutes
  • Completed: 2013


Commissioned by the Atlantic Music Festival to commemorate their 5th anniversary, Perdono was to be premiered with a concertized version of the Mozart’s comic opera Le Nozze di Figaro and takes its inspiration from the final scene. Just before the rousing finale, Count Almaviva asks forgiveness from the Countess for his transgressions. “Perdono” he pleads repeatedly—“forgiveness.” Due to her great love for the Count, she does forgive him, answering “I am more kind than you.” 

It was significant to me that the notes which begin this moment of forgiveness outline the same intervals contained in a musical translation of the festival’s initials: A, M, and F. Much of the primary material is derived from this musical translation. “A” remains as “A”, “M” is translated to “E” via the solfege syllable Mi, and “F” remains as “F,” though it usually appears as F-sharp. There is a musical drama that unfolds with how these pitches are presented and transformed.

Perdono is a homage to the music festival that has treated me so well but does not contain any extra musical narrative. It was completed in Waterville, ME in July of 2013 and runs approximately 9 minutes.

-Stephen Cabell

© Copyright 2017 Stephen Cabell