Stanhope completed his doctoral studies at the University of Sydney with Australia’s best-known composer, Peter Sculthorpe, and also studied at the Guildhall School of Music in London after being awarded the prestigious Sir Charles Mackerras Scholarship.
In 2004 Stanhope’s international standing was confirmed when he was awarded first place in the prestigious Toru Takemitsu Composition Prize for hisFantasia on a Theme by Vaughan Williams.In the following years his String Quartet No.2 (2009) was performed by the Pavel Haas Quartet throughout their tour of Australia, while hisAgnus Dei – After the Firefor violin and piano was performed by Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien. Other choral and chamber works received national tours by the Choir of Trinity College and Berlin’s Atos Piano Trio.
In 2013 Stanhope’s Piccolo Concerto was featured in performances by the Melbourne, Adelaide, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, while 2014 saw the premiere of hisJandamarra: Sing for the Country,a music-drama based on the life of the Western Australian indigenous resistance hero. Scored for solo baritone, choirs, an ensemble of indigenous singers and dancers, and orchestra,Jandamarrawas premiered by large forces that included singers and dancers from the Bunuba Community in Western Australia, Gondwana Choirs, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and was hailed as a work of major cultural significance. Stanhope wrote his cello concertoDawn and Darkness(2016) for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and in 2017 his award-winning Trombone Concerto was premiered by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. In 2018 his new Piano TrioPulseswas premiered by eight competing trios from around the world as part of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.
Following Stanhope’s time as musical director of the Sydney Chamber Choir from 2006 to 2015, the choir recordedLux Aeterna,an album of his choral works released on ABC Classics in 2017.
Stanhope is currently Associate Professor of composition as well as Artistic Director of choral programs at the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music. He has also been the Artistic Chair of the Australia Ensemble at the University of New South Wales since 2014.