Stephen McCurdy was born in Roxburgh, Central Otago, in 1949.
In the late sixties he studied music and cello at Canterbury University. He wrote a thesis on atonal motivic analysis of Schoenberg's Op 16 Pieces for Orchestra which he didn't submit, though he did encounter the works of German painters of the Weimar period like Dix, Beckmann, Grosz, which were influential later.
He subsequently worked for thirty years as a composer, music producer and director, production photographer and occasional songwriter for NZ theatre, television and film.
He began painting seriously in 1996, and has infrequently exhibited.