“Music greater than any on performance can be… a naturalness eventually achieving radiance.” – The Chicago Tribune
“[…] listening to Kovacevich’s music making is ¬experiencing a musician completely absorbed in his craft. Every phrase had shape, purpose and integrity.” – The Washington Post
Stephen Kovacevich, one of the most revered artists of his generation, has long been recognized as one of the most searching interpreters – “A musician completely absorbed in his craft, his interpretations are like no one else’s and always emanate directly from the heart: musical messages of wisdom, peace, resignation, and hope” (The Washington Post).
Kovacevich is known for never being afraid to take both technical and musical risks in order to achieve maximum expressive impact. Through this, he has won unsurpassed admiration for his piano-playing, none more than from Leopold Stokowski, who famously wrote: “You do with your feet what I try to do with my Philadelphia Orchestra”.
Born in Los Angeles, Kovacevich laid the foundation for his career as a concert pianist at the age of eleven. After moving to England to study with Dame Myra Hess, he made his European debut at Wigmore Hall in 1961. Since then, he has appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras and conductors, including Hans Graf, Bernard Haitink, Kurt Masur, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Sir Simon Rattle, and the late Sir Georg Solti.
As concerto soloist, recent and forthcoming highlights include Aurora Orchestra/Nicholas Collon, Los Angeles Philharmonic/Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal/David Zinman, Sydney Symphony/Vladimir Ashkenazy, and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony/Sylvain Cambreling.
In recital, recent and forthcoming highlights include performances in Europe, Asia, and the United States – including the NCPA (Beijing), the Phillips Collection (Washington), the Bridgewater Hall (Manchester), and the Wigmore Hall (London). Kovacevich also performs regularly across the Far East, Australia, and New Zealand, and is a regular guest at prestigious festivals worldwide – including Lugano, Verbier, and the Mariinsky International Piano Festival (the latter by personal invitation of Valery Gergiev).
Stephen Kovacevich has enjoyed an illustrious long-term relationship with recording companies Philips and EMI. To celebrate his 75th birthday, Decca released a Limited Edition 25-CD Box Set of his entire recorded legacy for Philips. In 2008, he rerecorded Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, exactly 40 years after his first recording of the work. This Onyx recording won him the Classic FM Gramophone Editor’s Choice Award (2009) and the Gramophone Magazine Top Choice Award (2015), to quote: “His seasoned yet fearless mastery reveals something new with each hearing…”.
Berg: Piano SonataBeethoven: Sonata Op109 Interval Brahms: Three short works (tbc) Beethoven: Sonata Op110