I am a classical trained pianist, arranger and composer, currently working on strengthening relationships across all musical genres. With artists like Bill Murray, Thomas Hampson, Gabriela Montero and others, I create meaningful and entertaining concert programs that foster connections across the arts.

Composer / Arranger

My arrangements and compositions, which have been performed around the world, are one way in which I bring different musical styles together. For Bill Murray and the New Worlds program, I created classical piano trio (violin, cello, piano) versions of songs by Van Morrison, Leonard Bernstein, the musical Zorba, and others. For Lara Downes, I composed classical-sounding virtuosic solo renditions of spirituals, including "Down by the Riverside" and "Motherless Child." 

 

Below are some compositions from different genres, inspired by scenes from film and television.

Burning of the Warsaw Ghetto (The Zookeeper's Wife)Artist Name
00:00 / 03:29

Inspired by a scene from The Zookeeper's Wife, this excerpt might accompany the scene in which the Nazis burn the Warsaw Ghetto. A tremendous thank you to Heather Buck (soprano), Chad Burrow (clarinet), and Carlos Izcaray (cello) for their beautiful contributions. 

Secrets in the Bookshelf (Homeland)
00:00 / 02:15

Inspired by the end of the series Homeland, when Carrie is searching Saul's bookshelf for clues that will help her betray him.

Made It (Crashing, Final Scene)
00:00 / 01:54

In the final scene of th HBO series Crashing, 

our protagonist begins to fulfill his dreams after overcoming serious challenges. This rock/soul-inspired clip shows range across other genres.

Courtoom Tapdance (Bull)
00:00 / 05:18

CBS' series Bull features loads of clever dialogue, and this swing jazz piece could accompany some clever legal maneuvering.

All-American
00:00 / 01:49

This piece is for a scene in the CW's All American, in which a man learns his friend is choosing a difficult and painful path. 

Ready to Fight (Scandal)
00:00 / 02:12

Inspired by a scene in the TV show Scandal, in which a character prepares for a violent encounter.

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Performing Van Morrison's When Will I Ever Learn (as percussionist!) with Bill Murray, Vanessa Perez, Jan Vogler, Mira Wang

New Worlds performs "Woman" from Zorba the Greek by Mikis Theodorakis

Lara Downes performing the African-American spiritual Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child

 

Performer

Still a pianist and performer, though my interests take me deep into different realms. 

Stephen Buck, piano;
Pablo Castellanos, conductor.
Orquesta Sinfonica de Caracas.
Maurice Ravel, Concerto for the Left Hand.
Stephen Buck, Piano
Vanessa Perez, Piano
Pablo Castellanos, Conductor
Orquesta Sinfonica de Caracas
W.A.Mozart, Concerto in E-flat Major for Two Pianos, K. 365 
Stephen Buck, Piano
Huang Ruo, Composer
Red Rain
Three Pieces for Piano
Stephen Buck, Piano
Huang Ruo, Composer
Red Rain  
Shifting Shades for Piano
Stephen Buck, Piano
Huang Ruo, Composer
Red Rain  
Tree Without Wind for Piano
 

Recent Projects

 
Photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

As an arranger, performer, composer and program designer, Stephen Buck has played an important role in some of the most innovative, entertaining, and stimulating concert experiences today. He has worked with actor Bill Murray, cellist Jan Vogler, violinist Mira Wang and pianist Vanessa Perez in New Worlds; baritone Thomas Hampson and pianist Lara Downes in the Beyond Liberty project; pianist Hélène Grimaud; and violinist Daniel Röhn in the musical exploration The Golden Violin. His arrangements have been performed on the most important stages in the United States, and through 2018-19 will be brought to audiences in Iceland, Scotland, Germany, Greece, New Zealand and Australia. His work also appeared on CBS Sunday Morning and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Stephen's transition into composing for screen (see excerpts above) is inspired by his experiences with programs that explode the traditional barriers between different genres of music, and by encountering Gottfried Huppertz' score for Fritz Lang's Metropolis .The common thread in Stephen’s work is the desire to expand the traditional classical concert experience in every way. For New Worlds, this means bringing jazz, rock, theater and folk music to a traditional piano trio. In Beyond Liberty, the focus on American music from all peoples, regions and times is enhanced through electronics that thoughtfully expand the sonic palette of the listener. The Golden Violin explores jazz, classical, and film music with a large chamber ensemble.

Stephen draws on his ongoing experience as a pianist, chamber musician, and pedagogue in finding ways to help other musicians create and refine concert experiences. He is a tremendous supporter of new music, and is currently working on a solo program featuring the complete piano works of composer Huang Ruo, highlighted with pieces by Schubert, Liszt, and Bach.

Stephen made his Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall debut through Artists International in New York, and serves on the academic faculty of the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music. Recent performance highlights have included a wide range of repertoire and venues, including three concertos in one evening with the Orquesta Juveníl de Caracas and pianist Vanessa Perez in Venezuela; a chamber opera by Huang Ruo at the Guggenheim Museum in New York; Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Winds and Laura Kaminsky’s Piano Concerto at Purchase College; an appearance on Vanessa Perez’ release for the Steinway label of works by Debussy and de Falla; and recordings for the Innova and Naxos labels of works by Huang Ruo.

An avid chamber musician and collaborative pianist, Stephen taught and performed for several summers at the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival in southern Italy. In 2006 he co-founded the AlpenKammerMusik Festival in Austria, an intensive 11-day course for musicians of all ages.  His interest in new music led him to perform with F.I.RE, a New-York based contemporary music ensemble, while his work with the Polaris Trio explores 19th and 20th century repertoire. Stephen moved back to New York City after teaching piano and music history at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. Prior to moving to South Carolina, he completed a Teaching Fellowship at Yale University, where he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in 2007 studying with Peter Frankl. While at Yale, he won the Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition, performing Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand.

Dr. Buck received a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan, studying with Anton Nel, and won Second Prize at the 1998 Isabel Scionti Competition, the university’s Concerto Competition with the Barber Piano Concerto, and received the Stockwell Memorial Scholarship. Mr. Buck graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 1995, where he studied with Ann Schein at Peabody Conservatory.

 

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