Stephen McCurdy was born in Roxburgh NZ in 1949.
He studied music and cello at Canterbury University in the late 60s. In the early 70s he wrote a master's thesis on pre-serial motivic analysis in Schoenberg's Op 16 pieces for orchestra which he didn't submit, and spent the next 30 years as a composer, songwriter and music director and producer for NZ theatre, television and film.
In the mid-90s he turned to painting as his central concern. He has no formal education in painting or art theory and has only occasionally exhibited.