Stephen Kovacevich celebrates 75 years with major London concerts & Decca releases complete Philips recordings
06 Jul 2015
This Autumn sees the 75th birthday of Stephen Kovacevich: among the most distinguished pianists of this century. To mark the occasion, he will be performing twice at London’s Wigmore Hall – on 13 July and 2 November with fellow piano legend Martha Argerich – and Decca will be releasing a box set of his Complete Philips Recordings on 4 September, celebrating the remarkable journey of a man whose extraordinary talent and resilience remain an inspiration to his ardent following.
Since his recovery from a stroke a few years ago, Stephen has limited his public appearances to a fraction of his former schedule and repertoire, but continues to shine on the concert platform – the hallmark of a career distinguished not only by great talent, but also by humility and an endlessly curious and philosophical approach.
Born and raised in Los Angeles and a veteran of the concert platform by age 11, Stephen moved to the UK at the age of 18 to study under Myra Hess. His European debut would follow in 1961, where a recital of Alban Berg’s Piano Sonata Op. 1 at the Wigmore Hall met with rapturous response and international acclaim.
On 13th July, Stephen will give a BBC lunchtime recital at the Wigmore Hall reprising Berg’s famous sonata alongside Schubert’s Piano Sonata in A. This will be followed on 2nd November with his 75th birthday concert at the Wigmore Hall – performing works for two pianos with Martha Argerich by Debussy and Ravel and Schubert’s final piano sonata.
On 4th September, Decca will release Stephen’s entire recorded legacy for the Philips Label in a 25CD Limited Edition box set. This collection charts this remarkable career from the 1960s right through to the 1980s, through some of the world’s most devilish and inspiring piano repertoire. It includes his acclaimed interpretations of works by Beethoven, Bartók, Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Dvorák, Grieg, Mozart, Schumann and Stravinsky, plus his legendary Beethoven Piano Concertos and Diabelli Variations. Every album is presented with original covers and programming.
Throughout an illustrious international career, Stephen has performed with the finest orchestras, under many of the world’s greatest conductors. As an accompanist and chamber musician his collaborators included Jacqueline du Pré, Steven Isserlis, Nigel Kennedy, Lynn Harrell, Sarah Chang, Gautier Capuçon, Renaud Capuçon, Emmanuel Pahud and Martha Argerich.