Stephen Lewis (b. 1983), a native of Western Massachusetts, is both a composer and concert pianist.
Drawing upon his tranquil roots in his rural hometown of Worthington, Massachusetts, Stephen’s works examine time as a human phenomenon, engaging deeply with received tradition, the latent possibilities of form in raw material, and compelling, unconventional narrative. His diverse catalogue of solo, chamber, and orchestral pieces has been performed throughout the United States. He has been commissioned by the Wellesley Composers Conference (2010), the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra (2011), Duo Diagenesis (2012), Madison-based ensemble Downbeat Means Attack (2009), as well as numerous individual performers. Stephen completed his undergraduate degree in Composition at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Lewis Nielson and Randolph Coleman. He is currently pursuing the PhD in Composition at the University of California-San Diego, studying with Rand Steiger. Past teachers include Roger Reynolds and Chinary Ung.
With his flexible performance aesthetic, Stephen delivers a warm pianistic tone and keenly observant musicianship in persuasive programming of contemporary works alongside music of the common practice era. Highlights of his contemporary ensemble career include performances of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians with the Bang on a Can All-Stars at Walt Disney Hall (2012); Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire at the University of California-San Diego (2012) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (2011); Stravinsky’s Les noces with the La Jolla Symphony in San Diego (2011); Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion and Donatoni’s Cloches with the University of Georgia’s Contemporary Chamber Ensemble (2007); and appearances with the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, at New York City’s Miller Theater (2005) performing Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre, and at Severance Hall in Cleveland (2005) performing Oliver Knussen’s Ophelia Dances and Songs without Voices.
As a soloist, Stephen has produced small-scale recital tours to California, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Massachusetts. He performs regularly in UC-San Diego’s annual Springfest, Graduate Forums, Wednesdays @7 series, and First Monday series, and was featured in the Oberlin Conservatory Honors Recitals and 2006 Commencement Recital. Stephen earned his undergraduate degree in Piano Performance at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Monique Duphil. He also studied collaborative piano with James Howsmon. Stephen was the 2006 recipient of a Pi Kappa Lambda Musicianship Award as well as the Oberlin Katzenberg Braun Family Award for Most Outstanding Senior Collaborative Pianist. He is currently pursuing the DMA in Contemporary Piano Performance at UC-San Diego, where he studies with Aleck Karis.