Stephen Beus, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is an American Steinway Artist and virtuoso pianist. He was born in 1982, in Othello, Washington. He served a two-year Church mission in Finland, and he currently teaches at Brigham Young University.
Born and raised on a farm in eastern Washington, he began taking piano lessons at five years of age and made his symphonic debut at age nine. Capturing the attention of audiences and critics, at age 17, he won the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Student Competitions at the high school level. The MTNA National Student competitions are the most successful and prestigious student competitions in the country, with thousands of students competing each year for top prizes and national recognition.
Commenting on his competition success, Fanfare magazine reported, “In some ways Beus doesn’t fit the mold of the typical competition winner. His playing is strikingly original, and, despite his youth, he has an interpretive voice all his own… Above all, his playing is so natural as to seem effortless and the sound he produces has extraordinary richness and depth, not quite like anyone else’s.” Stephen later won the same competition again at age 21 at the collegiate level.
He attended Whitman College, a private liberal arts college located in Walla Walla, Washington, for undergraduate studies, and later attended the Juilliard School of Music at the graduate level. He also attended Stony Brook University in New York. His teachers have included Leonard Richter, a professor of music in piano and theory at Walla Walla University for 38 years, Robert McDonald, an accomplished pianist who himself graduated from Lawrence University and studied at the Curtis Institute, the Juilliard School, and Manhattan School of Music, Gilbert Kalish, Christina Dahl, and Paulette Richards.
The Salt Lake Tribune declares that Stephen Beus is, “Mesmerizing… explosive… intelligent… he belongs on the world stage.” In 2005, he competed in the XII Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. In 2006, in the space of four months, he won first prize in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, first place in the Vendome Prize International Competition (Lisbon), and he was awarded the Max I. Allen Fellowship from the American Pianists Association (Indianapolis). In 2006, he also released his debut album, Excursions: Piano Music of Barber and Bauer, on the Endeavor Classics label. His second album, Stephen Beus Plays Griffes and Scriabin, was released in 2007 on Harmonia Mundi. And, in 2009, he competed in the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
After winning the Juilliard School Concerto Competition, Stephen made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Juilliard Orchestra and James DePreist, playing Prokofiev Concerto No. 3. He has also performed as guest soloist with the Gulbenkian Symphony (Lisbon), Oxford Philomusica, the Tivoli Symphony (Copenhagen), the Tbilisi National Opera Orchestra, the Northwest Sinfonietta (Seattle), the Royal Philharmonic of Morocco (Casablanca), the Vaasa Symphony Orchestra (Finland) as well as with the Hamburg, Indianapolis, Nashville, Santa Fe, Utah, Fort Worth, Tucson, Yakima, Bellevue, Salt Lake, Eastern Sierra, Corvallis, Jacksonville, Texarkana and Walla Walla Symphonies.
Equally active as a soloist, Stephen has performed at Wigmore Hall, the Salle Gaveau and Salle Cortot (Paris), Merkin Hall, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, the Central Conservatory (Beijing), Teatro San Carlo (Naples), Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall), the Queluz Palace (Lisbon) and has performed for the Dame Myra Hess and Fazioli Salon series (Chicago), the International Keyboard Institute and Festival (New York City), and has given recitals across the United States as well as in Kazakhstan, Russia, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Georgia, China, France, Italy, Portugal, the Czech Republic, and Morocco.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram declares, “We had just about given up hope that America would ever again produce a great native-born pianist. Then … Stephen Beus stepped onto stage to present a remarkable performance of one of the most beautiful and difficult works in the piano literature, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3…”
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