Pianist and Composer Steven Schwarz completed a Master of Music in Piano Performance at San Diego State University's School of Music and Dance in 2012, as a student of Karen Follingstad. He was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student prize in music performance that year.
Mr. Schwarz recently completed a rewarding academic year of re-engagement with the SDSU School of Music and Dance as a Lecturer in Piano and Resident Artist in Collaborative Piano. For his residency, he produced, and performed in, a series of seven recitals entitled The Collaborative Keyboard, appearing with violinist Isaac Allen, soprano Jennifer Wu, cellist Alex Greenbaum, flutists Lori Bell and Pamela Vliek Martchev, saxophonist Todd Rewoldt, and pianist Karen Follingstad.
Mr. Schwarz is an active and dedicated chamber player, taking part in workshops and festivals such as the St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar at Stanford University, the AlpenKammerMusik Chamber Music Festival in Austria, and the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy. He has shared the stage in recent years with such international artists as violinist Claudia Ajmone-Marsan, cellist Tonio Henkel, and clarinetist Chad Burrow, and has appeared locally on several occasions with the Hausmann Quartet. Mr. Schwarz also vigorously pursues collaborative piano engagements, and especially enjoys assisting emerging instrumental and vocal artists with their recitals and auditions.
Mr. Schwarz relishes rescuing and discovering overlooked solo piano works. He has performed neglected sonatas of Nikolai Medtner, forgotten barcarolles of Gabriel Fauré, Yannis Constantinidis’s little-known masterpiece from the piano pedagogy repertoire, Greek Miniatures, and Zhang Zhao's fascinating Melodies of China: Chinese Folk Songs Arranged for Piano. Mr. Schwarz is also keen to develop thematic programs, whether motivated by serious musical inquiry or a joyful sense of musical child’s play. In a series of lecture-recitals at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences in Spring 2008, he examined three composers who re-invented themselves musically around the turn of the 20th century. For his 2012 Master’s Recital, entitled Skipping a Stone, Mr. Schwarz “sampled” the keyboard repertoire, presenting a sequence of four masterpieces with composition dates evenly spaced, 90 years apart.
Mr. Schwarz is also a published and recorded composer of works in contemporary classical style for piano, synthesizer, and chamber ensembles. See the Works page for more information.
In addition to his music degree, Mr. Schwarz holds a BS in Mathematics from Stanford University (1977), and an MS and PhD in Mathematics from The University of Chicago (1978 and 1982). He spent the 1982-1983 academic year at MIT’s Laboratory for Computer Science on an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, and taught Mathematics and Computer Science at Tufts University (1983-1986). During 1986-2013, Mr. Schwarz has worked as a software engineer and consultant, operating his own software services business from 2003 through 2011.
After spending the 2013-2014 academic year at the SDSU School of Music and Dance, he is delighted to have relocated to Washington, DC, where he is a frequent performer on the stages of Friday Morning Music Club and Rock Creek Chamber Players.