Composer / Arranger

 

Performer

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
 

Programming Design

 
Photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

As an arranger 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 Roaring 20’s. 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.

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. Roaring 20’s explores jazz, classical, and film music with a large chamber ensemble, and includes the added challenge of accompanying live film projections with chamber versions of original soundtracks.

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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