guitarist, has been warmly received by audiences in the United States and Europe as a soloist and as a founding member of the Tantalus Quartet. He has appeared as concert soloist with the Albany Symphony, the New Harmony Festival Orchestra, and Orchestra Kentucky. His performances have aired on television and radio programs across the United States. Following his Carnegie Hall debut, the New York Times noted Stephen’s “unfazed” solo and chamber performances of 20th and 21st century music with the Grawemeyer Players. As recipient of the prestigious Theodore Presser Award, he recorded the complete guitar chamber works by Franz Schubert, which are available in critical editions through Allegra-Zimmerman.
Stephen enjoys a vibrant career as Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Louisville. His students have won top prizes in international competitions and have been accepted to prestigious graduate programs such as Florida State University, the Eastman School of Music, and the Peabody Conservatory. He is a member of the Kentucky Arts Council Performing Arts Directory and has performed at notable venues including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Silesian Guitar Autumn in Poland, the Panamá Guitar Festival, the Tampere Festival in Finland, the Guitar Foundation of America Convention, the Iserlohn Guitar Symposium in Germany, and the Columbus State Guitar Symposium.
In addition to his performing and teaching engagements, Stephen is the Director of the University of Louisville Guitar Festival and Competition. A strong proponent for public music education, Stephen has served as Director of the University of Louisville’s Community Music Program where he fostered the development of diverse educational programs in music, instituting unique learning opportunities for music enthusiasts from all areas of society.
Alongside these roles, Stephen is an active board member of the Chamber Music Society of Louisville, the Clifton Center, the Louisville Guitar Society, and currently serves as the chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Guitar Foundation of America, where he held positions as Development Director and Convention Manager.
Stephen continues to pursue scholarly activities with research and frequently writes on issues of guitar pedagogy and history. Soundboard magazine published his article on Schubert and the Guitar. Stephen has judged, lectured, performed, and taught at international conferences including the Appalachain State University Guitar Festival; Silesian Guitar Autumn Competition in Tychy, Poland; the Guitar Foundation of America Convention; the Iserlohn Guitar Symposium in Germany; the Columbus State Guitar Seminar; the Acadia International Guitar Festival in Canada; the New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes; the New York Summer Music Festival and the College Music Society.
Stephen completed his formal studies earning a Doctorate of Music and a Theory Pedagogy Certificate at the Florida State University under the instruction of renowned pedagogue Bruce Holzman. Prior to his doctoral studies, Stephen completed a two-year residence in Germany where he was awarded an Artist Diploma while studying with Dale Kavanagh at the Hochschule für Musik in Dortmund. Stephen also studied with Oscar Ghiglia at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. Prior to his work in Europe, Stephen studied with Nicholas Goluses at the esteemed Eastman School of Music where he earned a Master’s and a Bachelor Degree with distinction, a Certificate in Arts Leadership, and a Performer’s Certificate.