Stephen Porter

  Piano

In 2014-15 pianist Stephen Porter has given two acclaimed New York recitals, and his playing is called “a powerful revelation” by New York Arts.  The first, at the House of the Redeemer’s Italian Renaissance Library entitled “Late Style” contained final masterpieces by Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin and Debussy;  and the second was a stunning all-Debussy program of the 24 Preludes at SubCulture.  His Debussy is praised as “masterful...everything is graceful and appropriate” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), his Schubert “pure magic...disturbingly beautiful” (Early Music America), and his Beethoven “a transcendent experience.” (New York Arts)  Writing for Slate Magazine, Jan Swafford (author of Beethoven:  Anguish and Triumph) says “that may be the most exciting and appropriate version of the Appassionata.

Mr. Porter’s international solo appearances include Cité des Arts in Paris, the Sala Villa-Lobos at the University of Rio de Janeiro, Albert Long Hall in Istanbul, LSO St. Luke’s with the Amadeus Orchestra of London, the Rockefeller Foundation at Lake Como, and Sarajevo as the featured soloist of the 8th Bosnia International Music Festival.  He was named artist-resident of the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and invited to perform the music of Claude Debussy for the composer’s 150th birthday year.  His recitals of Debussy in Paris, Sarajevo and the United States led to an invitation to Washington D.C. to be the featured guest on National Public Radio’s Diane Rehm Show.  (listen here)

Stephen Porter premieres the work of many contemporary composers both here and abroad, most recently the Andrew List Second Piano Sonata and Caio Senna’s “Testamento” in Paris, and his “Re-Imagining Composers” series for the Composer’s Voice at Harvard University and in New York City.  This year he has also recorded the music of Toni Lester with Grammy Award winning bass-baritone Dashon Burton.  U.S. recitals include Bard College, Christ Church Cathedral St. Louis, Amherst College Buckley Recital Hall, the Boston Early Music Festival, the Nantucket Atheneum, the LaGrua Center, and the Frederick Historic Piano Collection.  Steinway & Sons selected him to give five concerts as part of the Legendary Instruments of the Immortals Tour, as well as to present the unique Walden Woods Concert Grand and give lecture-recitals on the Horowitz piano.

Stephen Porter is a graduate of Oberlin College magna cum laude, and the New England Conservatory of Music in Piano Performance with Distinction. His teachers were Peter Takacs, Jacob Maxin and Paul Doguereau. He was privileged to study with Mr. Doguereau, who had received the Premier Prix at the Paris Conservatory as a student of Marguerite Long, played for Debussy’s wife Emma Bardac in the years just following the composer’s death, and was a protégé of Ravel (whom he accompanied on the 1928 tour of the United States). Mr. Porter has judged national and international piano competitions and given masterclasses at many schools, including Washington University, Boston University, New England Conservatory and the Longy School of Music. He has been on the piano faculties of Webster University, Phillips Andover Academy, and the chamber music faculty of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Stephen Porter is a past winner of the prestigious Artist Presentation Society auditions.

 

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All images, text, video and audio © Stephen Porter, 2015