Stefan Asbury gained scholarships to Oxford University and the Royal College of Music and studies composition with Oliver Knussen. He continued his conducting studies in 1990 in America at the Tangelwood Music Centre as a recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Fellowship and, during that summer, shared concerts with Roger Norrington, Seiji Ozawa and Leonard Bernstein. Since Tanglewood, where he holds the position of Associate Director of New Music Activities, he has worked closely with Oliver Knussen, Sir Simon Rattle and Michael Tilson Thomas. He also holds the post of Co-Direcetor of the Oxford Contemporary Music Festival.
Stefan Asbury has established himself as one of todays leading exponents of contemporary music and works with virtually all the major contemporary ensembles in Europe. His recent concerts have included concerts with the London Sinfonietta, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, ASKO Ensemble, the Philharmonia, Ensemble Intercontemporain, New World Symphony, Rundfunk Symphonie Orchester Berlin, NDR Hannover, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia 21, Belgian Radio Orchestra and a project for Tokyo Opera City. He also worked with Norwegian Radio in the 1998 Ultima Festival. He also conducted an extremely successful three-concert series of works by Steve Reich, Frank Zappa and Charles Ives with the Britten Sinfonia in Spring 1998 and repeated part of this series with ASKO Ensemble in the Concertgebouw in their American Festival in June 1999.
During the 1999/00 season, he made his debut with Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt, Vienna, Cologne and Berlin, conducted a project around the music of Rebecca Saunders for Musikfabrik in Dusseldorf, lead a Kagel project at the Archipel Festival in Geneva, conducted a Contemporary Music Network Tour of the UK with ASKO, and made his debuts with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Sicillana and Australian Youth Orchestra. Further dates included Basel Symphony Orchestra, Flemish Radio, Northern Sinfonia, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Klangforum Wien, Bit20 Ensemble, Orchestre National de Bordeaux/Aquitaine, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, ASKO and Britten Sinfonia.
Stefan Asbury also has a growing reputation for work in opera. As a result of an impressive debut conducting Prokofiev‘s "The Love of Three Oranges" for Opera de Lyon in May 1998, he conducted the world premiere of a ballet of works by Hindemith and Gorecki and also conducted Prokofiev‘s "Romeo and Juliet" with the company at the start of the 1999/00 season. Stefan Asbury is a recipient of the BMW Music Theatre Prize for his conducting of the premiere of "Freeze" by Rob Zuidam in the Munich Biennale, a production that was repeated in the 1994 Holland Festival. He made his debut for Opera North in 1994/95 with HK Gruber’s "Gloria". Other operatic appearances include performances of Oliver Knussen’s opera double bill with the Avanti Chamber Orchestra at the Helsinki Festival in 1996 and concert performances of "Paul Bunyan" at the Aldeburgh Festival.
His discography includes works by Philip Cashian with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Groups and works by Jonathan Harvey with Ensemble Intercontemporain. He has also taken part in a recording with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, as second conductor to Oliver Knussen, which was the 1994 Gramophone Award winner in the contemporary music section.