An acclaimed recitalist, recording artist, teacher, and collaborator, pianist Steven Spooner will join the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University beginning in the 2020-21 academic year.
Passionately devoted to the solo recital as a platform for innovation, Steven Spooner has been engaged at prestigious venues such as the Salle Cortot in Paris, the Shanghai Concert Hall, Budapest’s Great Hall of the Liszt Academy, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Rome’s Santa Cecilia, and Singapore’s Esplanade. During past seasons he has daringly reinvented the solo recital by allowing audiences to vote on the spot for one of five programs he has prepared, and his programs often feature his own arrangements and compositions. This season he will perform the cycle of Beethoven Sonatas in a series of lecture-recitals in addition to duo performances with renowned pianist Sergei Babayan. Spooner has released more than 30 recordings on the Naxos, A Life of Music, and other labels, including a 2016 project of 16 CDs honoring his heroes called Dedications, which was met with enormous critical acclaim. A prizewinner at each of the seven international piano competitions he has entered, Spooner is also an active collaborator and performs with a diverse and distinguished list of musicians. He has studied at the Moscow and Tbilisi Conservatories in the former Soviet Union, and at Indiana University. His broad educational background has embraced many schools and teachers have included Earl Wild, the great Georgian pianist Nodar Gabunia, Karen Shaw, Leonard Hokanson, and Edmund Battersby, and he has coached extensively with Tatiana Nikolayeva, Viktor Merzhanov, Dalton Baldwin, and Emile Naoumoff. Spooner has served as guest artist-in-residence at Paris Conservatory Summer Sessions and has been appointed to the artist faculty of many leading summer festivals. He has just been appointed artistic director of the Chicago International Music Competition and Festival. Increasingly in demand for his masterclasses, Spooner has served on the piano faculty at the University of Kansas, and his pupils have been named winners at important international and national piano competitions and enjoy performing and teaching careers of their own. Steven Spooner is a Steinway Artist.
The Piano Department at Peabody has a long tradition of excellence dating back to the days of Arthur Friedheim, who was a student of Franz Liszt. Spooner joins a diverse roster of renowned artist-faculty colleagues charged with implementation of the Peabody Conservatory’s Breakthrough Curriculum in Performing Arts Leadership, a model at the forefront of arts training in the United States. The Breakthrough Curriculum is designed to help students develop skills in performance excellence, career development, and citizen artistry to meet the demands of today’s ever-changing musical landscape.