Stephen Emmerson studied music at Queensland University where he graduated in 1980 with first class honours and a University medal. During that time he studied piano with Pamela Page and viola with Elizabeth Morgan. In 1980, he won the Commonwealth Finals of the Australian Broadcasting Commission's Instrumental and Vocal Competition in the keyboard division. Also he was the Principal viola with the Queensland Youth Orchestra that year when it toured Europe and, in the following year, was a full-time member of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Later in 1981 he took up a Commonwealth Scholarship to study at New College, Oxford and graduated with a M.Phil in Music in 1983. He remained in England till 1987 and continued to study piano with Peter Wallfisch. He received an ARCM in performance in 1986 and a D. Phil from Oxford University in 1989. He has been on the staff of the Queensland Conservatorium since 1987 where he teaches a range of subjects. He has performed in nationally and internationally both as soloist and with a variety of chamber ensembles. His recordings in collaboration with a variety of performers have been released by ABC Classics, Move Records, The Anthology of Australian Music on Disc, CPO and Contact.