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New Zealand pianist Stephen De Pledge is one of the most exciting and innovative musicians of his generation. After studying at the University of Auckland, he undertook postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, with Joan Havill. His career was launched after winning the Gold Medal from the Guildhall, and the NFMS Young Concert Artists’ Award, and he has since maintained a diverse and wide-ranging performing schedule, as soloist, chamber musician and song accompanist.

His solo performances have taken him throughout the UK, including several recitals in the Wigmore Hall in London, where he made his acclaimed debut in 1999. He has also given solo performances in Hong Kong, Italy, France, Singapore, Japan, Australia and the USA. Concerto appearances include the Philharmonia and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras, and performances in the Barbican Hall and Fairfield Halls. He has recorded solo works of Bliss, Messiaen and Arvo Pärt, for whom he made the world premiere recording of the piano sonatinas in 2001.

As a chamber musician, Stephen has collaborated with groups such as the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, the English Chamber Orchestra Ensemble and the Scottish Ensemble. He has worked with some of the finest musicians of our time, including Viktoria Mullova, Colin Carr, Alan Hacker and Rivka Golani, and performed at many International Festivals in the UK and abroad. Recent chamber music performances have been in New York, Dresden, Bogotà, Shanghai, Paris and Beijing.

Stephen’s repertoire is far-reaching, from the music of the 17th to the 21st centuries. He has always maintained an interest in contemporary music, and has given the world premiere performances of many works. In 2001 he performed the complete chamber works of Arvo Pärt at the Edinburgh Festival, under the guidance of the composer, and he has become particularly associated with the music of Messiaen, which he studied in Paris with the composer’s widow, Yvonne Loriod.

In addition to the solo recordings, Stephen’s recordings for Sanctuary Classics, ASV and the Quartz labels include song cycles by Ned Rorem and Samuel Barber, and chamber music of Messiaen, Shostakovich, Schnittke and Pärt. He has broadcast for Radio 3 and Classic FM in the UK, and also on radio in USA, Australia and New Zealand.

In 2010 Stephen was appointed Senior Lecturer in Piano at the School of Music at NICAI at the University of Auckland.

Source: Stephen De Pledge, February 2007

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