Allan Stephenson was a British-born South African composer, cellist, and conductor. He grew up in Liverpool and studied cello at the Royal Manchester College of Music before moving to Cape Town in 1973 to join the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, remaining there until its closure in 1997. During this time, Stephenson also taught cello at the South African College Schools and lectured in cello and composition at the University of Cape Town.
He was well-known as a composer in South Africa, his works vary from small-scale chamber pieces to full-blown operas. He contributed one act to the Naledi award-winning Mandela Trilogy opera, which was written to document the three stages of Nelson Mandela’s life. He also wrote three full operas, two symphonies, and two concertos for piano, oboe, and piccolo respectively. He is known for having arranged a large number of ballets for the Cape Town City Ballet including Tales of Hoffman, La Traviata, and Camille. He founded the Cape Town Chamber Orchestra and ran I Musicanti, a string chamber orchestra, for several seasons.