Stephen Kovacevich, piano

Stephen Kovacevich

Born in Los Angeles, Stephen Kovacevich made his concert debut as a pianist at the age of eleven. When he was eighteen he moved to England to study with Dame Myra Hess. Since then his international reputation has been built both on his concert appearances, renowned for their thoughtfulness and re-creative intensity, and on the highly acclaimed recordings he has made throughout his career. He has appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras and conductors including Colin Davis, Hans Graf, Bernard Haitink, Kurt Masur, Simon Rattle and Georg Solti.

Stephen Kovacevich remains a consummate and insightful performer. Recent performance highlights include two recitals at the Salle Pleyel Paris ( December 2014 and May 2015), an extensive tour of the Far East including Korea, Taiwan and China, alongside a live BBC Radio 3 broadcast to celebrate  Brahms in October 2014 as well as recitals in London (Wigmore Hall), Boston, Dublin and Cardiff to name a few. Recent concerto highlights include a triumphant return to Montreal Symphony Orchestra (under David Zinman), Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra (with Sylvain Cambreling), Malaysian Philharmonic (Jacek Kaspszyk), Orchestre de chambre de Paris (John Nelson) and Sydney Symphony Orchestra (Vladimir Ashkenazy). Stephen recently performed to a sell out audience for his recital at the International Piano Series at the Queen Elisbaeth Hall in London. In addition, Stephen is a regular soloist at the Verbier and Lugano festivals.

Stephen Kovacevich has enjoyed two long-term relationships with recording companies, first Philips and then EMI.  Great projects of his work with EMI include a compelling series of Schubert Sonatas and a set of the 32 Beethoven Sonatas completed in 2003, hailed as one of the most authoritative ever recorded.  One critic described The Hammerklavier as: ‘an unflinching, sometimes combative view of a titanic masterpiece, and a version to be spoken of in the same breath as those of Brendel, Gilels and Pollini...’ Kovacevich announces the music’s potency from the first bar. He also worked extensively with Colin Davis recording the Piano Concertos of Beethoven and Brahms and most notably Bartok’s Piano Concerto No.2.

Stephen Kovacevich is a committed chamber music player who, from the beginning of his career, collaborated with Jacqueline du Pré for their celebrated recording of Beethoven’s Sonatas No. 3 and 5.  Other past and present partners include Steven Isserlis, Gautier Capuçon, Renaud Capuçon, Kyung-wha Chung, Truls Mí¸rk, Emmanuel Pahud, Anna Larsson, Khatia Buniatishvili, Belcea Quartet, Philippe Graffin, Alina Ibragimova and Martha Agerich.