In the 2014-15 season, 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. The second was a stunning program of Debussy’s 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
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.
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
His many chamber music activities include performances with members of the
St. Louis Symphony, and with concertmaster David Halen at the invitation of
the Missouri Fine Arts Academy. He is a frequent collaborator with acclaimed
mezzo-soprano Krista River, and their recitals include works by Ned Rorem and
John Harbison, coached by the composers. He has just recorded a disc with
Ms. River of Grieg’s “Haugtussa,” six Lyric Pieces, and Schumann’s
“Frauenliebe und leben.” Other recent chamber music appearances of note
include the Brahms Piano Quintet in Fort Lauderdale with the principals of
the South Florida Symphony, a commemorative concert of the Charles Ives Piano
Trio at the composer’s alma mater the Hopkins School in New Haven, and the
remarkable first piano part for the original version of Rossini’s
“Petite Messe Solennelle” at the Merrimack College Rogers Center for the Arts.
Mr. Porter’s several recitals at the Frederick Collection, including an interview
regarding his performance of the final three Beethoven Sonatas on an original
instrument, have been recorded live for broadcast on National Public Radio.
He has also recorded the final three Schubert sonatas, Moments Musicaux and
an original song transcription on the Frederick Collection’s 1828 Viennese Graf.
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