Stephen Kovacevich

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Stephen Kovacevich (born October 17, 1940), who has also been known as Stephen Bishop and Stephen Bishop-Kovacevich is an American classical pianist and conductor.


Stephen Kovacevich was born in San Pedro, Los Angeles, California, to a Croatian father and an American mother.

He made his concert debut as a pianist at the age of 11; then, at the age of 18 he moved to London to study under Dame Myra Hess on a scholarship, and has been a London resident ever since, and is currently living in Hampstead. In 1961 he made a sensational European début at the Wigmore Hall playing the Sonata by Alban Berg, three Bach Preludes and Fugues and Beethoven's Diabelli Variations. In 1967 Kovacevich made his New York début and since then he has toured Europe, the United States, the Far East, Australia, New Zealand and South America.

As a soloist and conductor, he is probably best known for his interpretations of the core classical repertoire, including Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Bartók. His international reputation has been built both on his concert appearances, renowned for their thoughtfulness and re-creative intensity, and on the highly acclaimed recordings he has made throughout his career.

In addition to his solo work, Stephen Kovacevich enjoys good relations with orchestras as a conductor and by directing from the piano. He has directed the London Mozart Players, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in this way. His chamber music partners have included Jacqueline du Pré, Martha Argerich, Steven Isserlis, Nigel Kennedy, Lynn Harrell, Sarah Chang, Gautier Capuçon, Renaud Capuçon, and Emmanuel Pahud.

He was the third husband of Martha Argerich.

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