Stephen Wilber, piano
Pianist Stephen Wilber was awarded Third prize nationally in the solo professional division of the “American Prize” in Piano Performance Competition for 2013. His playing has been hailed for its "freshness and refinement” and for his "force, imagination, feelings, and lyricism" (Arad, Romania). In 1999, Dr. Wilber made his orchestral debut with members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performing Mozart's Piano Concerto no. 26 in D major.
Dr. Wilber has not been involved in the world of high-powered piano competitions. Alicia De Larrocha as well as other concert pianists have told him he has a very personal and expressive style and to continue performing which would lead to more exposure as pianists did in the times before the modern competition era. Some highlights of Dr. Wilber’s solo and concerto engagements have been; The Festival Orchestra of Zurich, Switzerland; The Great Hall, Saratov Russia; The Cultural Palace, Arad Romania; Merkin Hall, NYC; The Estonia Concert Hall and the Tallinn Conservatory of Music, Tallinn, Estonia; The Academy of Art and Music, Honolulu Hawaii; Oberlin College Guest Recital Series; Le Kuklos, Leysin Switzerland; Crans-Montana, Switzerland. He has been a guest artist in the Music Festival of the Hamptons, NY, Gina Bachauer Foundation in Salt Lake City, Music at Grey Towers, Pa., Shandelee Music Festival in New York City, The American Liszt Society in Washington DC, Celebrate the Arts in Atlanta and the Festival of Nations in Rome Italy.
A showcase recital for the Embassy Concerts in Washington, DC, resulted in the following review: "It was a thrilling experience to hear Stephen Wilber in recital...His thoroughly engaging artistry is dynamic, passionate and absorbing...He has a superb articulation and pianistic touch that lends much coloring to his playing. His communication with the audience is truly enchanting”.
His Debut recording, Overture, has been praised for its "purity or style, deeply internalized concepts and sense of drama". An enthusiastic review of a recital in Tallinn, Estonia, read: "BRAVO to American pianist Stephen Wilber for a performance of Beethoven sonatas, Schumann and Chopin that was inspirational, full of poetry and flexibility and psychologically dynamic...an amazing sense of sound".
Dr. Wilber has a been a frequent adjudicator for the MTNA and enjoys giving constructive comments to the performers with his writing. He also has been very interested in the topic of Musicianship and uses his “Concepts of Musicianship” to teach his Masterclasses. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Dr. Wilber also studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He holds a Master’s degree from The Peabody Institute and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland. Private teachers have included Larissa Dedova, Gregory Sioles, Robert Weirich, Frances Walker, Claude Frank, Ruth Laredo, Miles Mauney and Charles Beno. On a personal note, Dr. Wilber had the pleasure and benefit of having the great pianist Alicia de Larrocha as a friend and mentor. Spending time playing and discussing music with her was an invaluable experience to his development.
Stephen Wilber has managed to combine a successful career as a classical pianist with achievements in competitive sports, playing wide receiver for the Washington Chiefs, a semi-professional football team in Washington DC and is ISSA certified as a personal fitness instructor.
Dr. Wilber taught at Lee University in Cleveland Tennessee for nine years and currently lives in the Atlanta area with his wife Mary-Frances, who is a soprano, and 4 children.