The English pianist, Stephen Gutman, studied at the Royal College of Music in London and with Vlado Perlemuter in Paris. He was awarded first prizes in the Brant Competition and the British Contemporary Piano Competition. His friendship with the pianist Michal Hambourg was an important influence on his work.
Based in London, Stephen Gutman’s pianistic skill and interpretive insight have led to invitations to perform in the Royal Festival Hall, the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Weill Hall in New York, Ueno Bunka Keikan in Tokyo, and throughout Europe. He has performed and broadcast widely in Europe as well as in Japan and the USA. Performances as a soloist with orchestra include works by Adams, J.S. Bach, Leonard Bernstein, Benjamin Britten, Grieg, Mozart, Prokoviev, Ravel, Robert Schumann, Dmitri Shostakovich, Silvestrov and Tippett.
Stephen Gutman is recognised as one of Britain’s most brilliant and creative interpreters of modern music. Stephen is passionately committed to the music of our time. He has given numerous first performances including British premieres of works by Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Ligeti and Alfred Schnittke among others. He has also commissioned many new works from leading and younger British composers, including Julian Anderson, Michael Finnissy, Simon Holt, John Woolrich and Luke Stoneham. Among his most personal projects are The Debussy Studies Project and Les Enfants de Rameau. In 1997, with the sponsorship of the Arts Council of England, he asked 12 British composers to write pieces mirroring the 12 etudes of Debussy. Two years later, Les enfants de Rameau, modelled on variations by Dukas, received widespread critical acclaim. Subsequent activities, including a Satie cycle at Dartington (2001) and acclaimed performances of Birtwistle’s Harrison’s Clocks (2000) and The Axe Manual (2003) in London, have confirmed his reputation. With percussionist Richard Benjafield, he created in 2004 a sequence of interconnected music events that were built up from the short fantasy What strikes the clocke by the 16th/17th century composer Edward Gibbons. This integrated the contributions of professional musicians, students from several secondary schools and work of composers of all ages and backgrounds. It was entered for the Guinness Book of Records as the largest number of premieres in a single performance. Also in 2004, Gutman gave the Scottish premiere of John Adams’ piano concerto Century Rolls and in 2005 performed the Tippett Concerto. Stephen has an ongoing collaboration with soprano Sarah Leonard and has worked with many ensembles including Composers Ensemble, Endymion, ‘Sharp Edge’ (RPO), Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, the Esbjerg Ensemble and the Verbier Festival Ensemble.
Also active as a chamber-music player, Stephen Gutman has appeared in concerts and broadcasts with many distinguished international artists and ensembles, including György Pauk, Yfrah Neaman, and Karine Georgian.
Stephen Gutman is a Professor of Piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and was the Contemporary Artist in association with the School of Composition at the Royal Northern College in Manchester. He has given master-classes and lectures at conservatoires and universities in the UK and internationally.
Stephen Gutman has recorded for the Metronome, NMC and Unknown Public labels. His enthusiasm for the music of the French Baroque led to his recent recording of the complete solo keyboard works of Jean-Phillipe Rameau played on the modern piano for Toccata.