At the very forefront of American pianists, critics and audiences have unanimously hailed the distinctive and compelling performances of pianist Steven Spooner. “A pianist in the tradition that many believe died with the likes of Horowitz, Arrau, Bolet, Cziffra, and Wild. His talent, to my ears, is easily the equal of most major pianists of today and far superior to a large number of those most exciting and dynamic pianists of their generation” (Fanfare). “Such a breadth and variety of difficult pieces made me wonder at first if this recording was a hoax. But, no, Steven Spooner is the real deal, a pianist of apparently limitless raw technique that’s almost note perfect.” (American Record Guide). Spooner has been engaged at many of the world’s most prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Great Hall of the Liszt Academy (Budapest), Salle Cortot (Paris), and Shanghai Concert Hall, among many others as soloist with orchestra and recitalist. During the past seasons he has daringly reinvented the solo recital by allowing audiences to vote on the spot for one of several programs and like golden-age pianists, his concerts often feature his own compositions and virtuoso transcriptions.
Spooner is a prizewinner at all seven international piano competitions he entered and top prizewinner at the Hilton Head International Piano Competition and First Prize and recipient of the Niekamp Career Grant as most outstanding pianist in French music at the Paris Conservatory. In 2008, he was awarded the Ivory Classics Foundation Prize that enabled him to study Liszt with the legendary virtuoso, Earl Wild. Following this, Spooner underwent a period of serious self-study and emerged as one of the most comprehensively equipped pianists of our time embracing a gargantuan repertoire of solo works and concerti by a host of diverse composers.
Spooner has released more than 30 recordings on Naxos, A Life of Music, and other record labels including a monumental project of 16 albums honoring his heroes called Dedications. His latest 10-volume recording project, Aspects of Liszt, exploring the many facets of the Liszt repertoire, will be released in 2022.
Steven Spooner is Professor of Piano at the Peabody Institute, and he has studied at the Tbilisi Conservatory, Moscow Conservatory, and Indiana University.
Spooner has served on the faculty of many of the most prestigious summer festivals and is increasingly in demand for his insightful masterclasses at leading conservatories across the globe. He is Artistic Director of the Chicago International Competition and Festival and often serves on juries of international competitions. A dedicated and caring teacher of students from around the world, he has formed winners of multiple prizes at important international competitions. Steven Spooner is a Steinway Artist.