Known for performing “with precision and an impressive attention to timbral detail” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), percussionist Jeff Stern has developed a voice to listen for in today’s contemporary music scene. He has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, and has collaborated with and championed the work of a number of the world’s preeminent composers. Recent premieres include Alejandro Viñao’s Stress and Flow with The Percussion Collective, James Wood’s Secret Dialogues for solo marimba, and John Luther Adams’ Sila at Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Festival. As a proponent for the music of our time, Stern also actively commissions works by composers of his generation, such as Thomas Kotcheff, Emma O’Halloran, Robert Honstein, and Juri Seo.

Stern is the executive director, co-artistic director, and founding percussionist of 2 piano/2 percussion group icarus Quartet. Winner of the 2019 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition, icarus is quickly gaining the attention of composers, presenters, and audiences everywhere. They have been artists in residence for programs including Chamber Music Northwest’s Protégé Project, the Vienna Summer Music Festival, Bowling Green State University’s Klinger ElectroAcoustic Residency, and the DMV Music Academy held at the Kennedy Center’s REACH. In Fall 2024, icarus will premiere three companion works to Bartók’s Sonata for two pianos and percussion written expressly for iQ on the Secrest Artist Series in Winston-Salem, NC by Martin Bresnick, Viet Cuong, and Jennifer Higdon. The Quartet’s debut commercial album, BIG THINGS, featuring the music of Michael Laurello, Brad Lubman, and Paul Lansky was released on Furious Artisans records in June 2022, receiving praise from the Wall Street Journal as “a beautifully immersive recording…an impressive calling card.”

With The Percussion Collective, Stern has toured the United States, performed on a live broadcast for WXQR’s Midday Masterpieces, and given a featured evening performance at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. He joined the Collective in March 2022 season for Chris Theofanidis’ Drum Circles concerto for four percussionists with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the baton of JoAnn Falletta, followed by two Drum Circles performances to open The Florida Orchestra’s 2023-24 season with resident music director, Michael Francis. Stern has contributed to two world premieres by Emmy Award-winning composer Garth Neustadter, two world premieres by Alejandro Viñao, and recently performed with the Percussion Collective again at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater for premieres by Ke-Chia Chen and Kenji Bunch with virtuoso violinist Paul Huang.

Stern performs as an extra percussionist for the Baltimore Symphony and with several new music ensembles including Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, Mind on Fire, NewPrism Ensemble, NakedEye Ensemble, and ensemble mise-en, with whom he toured to Hong Kong in 2018. He has appeared at the Yellow Barn Music Festival, the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and the Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab, and can be heard on the Albany, Elm City, Bright Shiny Things, figureight, Furious Artisans, and Cantaloupe record labels.

Stern serves as Lecturer in Percussion at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. He holds a B.M. from UMass Amherst, an M.M. from the Peabody Conservatory, where he was awarded the Harold Randolph Prize in Performance, and an Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music. Stern is a proud artist endorser of Vic Firth sticks and mallets, Zildjian cymbals, Evans drumheads, and Pearl/Adams drums and percussion.