Visiting Assistant Professor of Music
Head of Music History, Theory, Solfège, and Keyboard Studies
As an arranger, performer, composer and program designer, Stephen Buck has played an important role in some of the most innovative, entertaining, and stimulating concert experiences today.
He has worked with actor Bill Murray, cellist Jan Vogler, violinist Mira Wang and pianist Vanessa Perez in New Worlds; baritone Thomas Hampson and pianist Lara Downes in the Beyond Liberty project; pianists Lang Lang and Hélène Grimaud; violinist Daniel Röhn and actor Martina Gedeck in the musical exploration The Golden Violin; and with the Dalí and Miró string quartets. His arrangements have been performed on the most important stages in the United States and around the world. His work also appeared on CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
The common thread in Stephen’s work is his desire to expand the traditional classical concert experience in every way. For New Worlds, this means bringing jazz, rock, theater and folk music to a traditional piano trio. In Beyond Liberty, the focus on American music from all peoples, regions and times is enhanced through electronics that thoughtfully expand the sonic palette of the listener. The Golden Violin explores jazz, classical, and film music with a chamber orchestra. Stephen worked most recently with Latin GRAMMY-winning pianist Kristhyan Benitez and Vanessa Perez on creating A fuego lento, a program of entirely Latin music for two pianos that features reimagined transcriptions of famous Latin popular songs from Mexico through Argentina, the Andes to the Caribbean.
Stephen has recently assumed the role of Executive Director of AlpenKammerMusik, a chamber music festival in the Austrian Alps that he co-founded in 2007. Drawing talented young artists, professionals, and talented amateurs to a picturesque Alpine village for two weeks every summer, this festival seeks to provide a meaningful artistic experience to all, and for the young artists, professional contacts and experience that will serve them throughout their careers. AlpenKammerMusik has grown from its initial group of ten students to over 40 participants, and is expanding its cultural impact in western Austria, Central Europe, and beyond.
Stephen serves as Coordinator of Academic Studies at the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, where he offers classes in music theory, history, analysis, and cultural context to students from classical, jazz, and popular music backgrounds. As a pianist, his performances included a wide range of repertoire and venues, including three concertos in one evening with the Orquesta Juveníl de Caracas and pianist Vanessa Perez in Venezuela; a chamber opera by Huang Ruo at the Guggenheim Museum in New York; Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Winds and Laura Kaminsky’s Piano Concerto at Purchase College; an appearance on Vanessa Perez’ release for the Steinway label of works by Debussy and de Falla; and recordings for the Innova and Naxos labels of works by Huang Ruo.
Dr. Buck received his Doctor of Musical Arts from Yale University School of Music in 2007, where he was also a winner of the concerto competition. He obtained a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan, studying with Anton Nel, and won Second Prize at the 1998 Isabel Scionti Competition, the university’s concerto Competition, and received the Stockwell Memorial Scholarship. Mr. Buck graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 1995, where he studied with Ann Schein at Peabody Conservatory.