Ben Stevenson served as artistic director of Houston Ballet from 1976-2003, raising the company from a regional troupe of twenty-eight dancers to an internationally acclaimed ensemble of over fifty artists. For his contributions to international dance, Mr. Stevenson was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) by Queen Elizabeth II in the New Year’s Honors List in December 1999. In April 2000, he was presented with the Dance Magazine Award. In July 2003, he was appointed artistic director emeritus of Houston Ballet, and the company’s affiliated school was renamed Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy. Mr. Stevenson, a native of Portsmouth, England, received his dance training at the Arts Educational School in London. He appeared with the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet and English National Ballet where, as a principal dancer, he performed leading roles in all the classics. In 1967, English National Ballet asked him to stage his first, and highly successful, production of The Sleeping Beauty, which starred Margot Fonteyn. In 1968, Rebekah Harkness invited him to New York to direct the newly formed Harkness Youth Dancers. After choreographing Cinderella in 1970 for the National Ballet in Washington, D.C., he joined the company in 1971 as co-director with Frederic Franklin. Mr. Stevenson has received numerous awards for his choreography, including three gold medals at the International Ballet Competitions of 1972, 1982, and 1986. In 2018, Mr. Stevenson was acknowledged by the Chinese government as one of the most influential Foreign Experts in the past 40 years since China initiated its policy on Reform and Opening Up. In July 2003, Mr. Stevenson assumed the artistic directorship of Texas Ballet Theater in Fort Worth, Texas.