No one person is more single-handedly responsible for setting the wheels in motion for the current wondrous state of the trumpet repertoire than Thomas Stevens. The american trumpet virtuoso was well known for his qualities as a soloist, which won him international acclaim; especially for his excellence as a performing and recording artist of avant-garde works of extreme difficulty. He has been responsible for championing contemporary music and for important commissions such as Luciano Berio's Sequenza X; he also played a significant role in the education of the some of the trumpet's biggest revolutionaries such as are Håkan Hardenberger and Markus Stockhausen.
Stevens studied composition at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He learned composition early in his career with jazz arrangements for big band and dance orchestras. After 1970 he again took up composition. In 1987 Stevens wrote Triangles I for the Dallas Symphony trumpets, which is one of three works with that title.