Alan Stepansky

Alan Stepansky is recognized as one of the most gifted cellists of his generation. Whether performing as soloist, recitalist, or chamber musician, “he plays with great inward concentration and intensity, utter authority, and a beautiful, warm tone” (Strings Magazine). Mr. Stepansky recently completed a distinguished nine-year tenure as the New York Philharmonic’s associate principal cellist and made his solo debut with the Philharmonic under Kurt Masur during the 1992–93 season. Earlier, he was featured as a soloist with John Williams and the Pops Esplanade Orchestra and became principal cellist of the Boston Pops at age 24.

Mr. Stepansky has concertized in major cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Montreal, with recitals broadcast by National Public Radio and the CBC. He has been a guest artist of the Mostly Mozart Festival and has appeared in many of the nation’s most prestigious chamber music series, including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Washington National Gallery, the Frick Museum in Pittsburgh, Bargemusic (Brooklyn, New York), New York Philomusica, and the New York Philharmonic Ensembles. His multidisc recording project for the EMI label got off to an auspicious start in July 1995, when his CD of the Korngold Trio with violinist Glenn Dicterow and pianist Israela Margalit was featured as Editor’s Choice by Gramophone magazine and then honored as Chamber Music Record of the Year by the British Music Industry Association. BBC Magazine awarded four stars to his performance of the Barber Cello Sonata, later featured as a Critic’s Choice by the New York Times. He has also recorded for the Cala and Elysium labels.

Mr. Stepansky’s teachers have included Orlando Cole, Laurence Lesser, and Harvey Shapiro. After studies at the Curtis Institute of Music and the University of Pennsylvania, he graduated from Harvard University with the Horblit Prize, conferred for his outstanding musical accomplishments and subsequently taught at Harvard and MIT. Increasingly in demand as a teacher as well as a performer, he is currently professor of cello at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University and at Manhattan School of Music. At Manhattan School, he is a founding faculty member of the groundbreaking Orchestral Performance Program, a highly successful degree program for instrumental majors that focuses on the art of high-level orchestral playing and audition taking. In 1999, he founded and directed the Peabody Strings, a student chamber orchestra at Peabody Conservatory. A frequent guest lecturer at The Juilliard School, he recently conducted master classes at the Toho School in Tokyo, the Hong Kong Academy, and the Faculdades de Artes Alcantara Machado in São Paulo. He was a guest speaker and featured artist at the Sixth American Cello Congress. In the summer of 2002, he presented master classes at the National Orchestral Institute and at the Domain Forget in Quebec.

Manhattan School of Music faculty since 1991.