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Steven Neugarten

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Steven Neugarten is a pianist and music director. He was given his first piano lessons by his father Rolf, and then from his older brother Michael. He also played the recorder when he was at Primary school, and remembers enjoying singing sessions too. At first he didn’t particularly like to learn the piano, but it quickly became one of his favourite activities. 40 years on he still gets excited about playing wonderful music on the piano and in recent years he’s been especially fond of a composer he calls Mr. Cabbage (real name Nikolai Kapustin). As a member of the English Pocket Opera Company since January 2010 he has been helping to introduce opera to thousands of schoolchildren, both as a pianist and as a singer of bottom Ds . Sometimes the other singers in the show make him laugh so much that he loses all control of his fingers!

Steven graduated from Bristol University with a Physics degree. His piano teachers included James Gibb, Edith Vogel and Gyorgy Kurtag and he made his solo debut in 1988 at St. George’s, Brandon Hill.

He has worked with and championed the work of many C20th composers, including Sir Michael Tippett, Witold Lutoslawski, George Benjamin, Justin Connolly, Berthold Goldschmidt and Laurence Roman. He has performed as a duo pianist with Thomas Ades and with Rolf Hind; lectured on the music of Ligeti and Kapustin; toured in recital with saxophonist Simon Haram; been principal keyboard player with Opera Box; worked for many years with the Blackheath Choir; played with a number of ensembles (the Continuum, the Dallapiccola and the Guildhall New Music Ensembles) and was a founding member of the Gilliver-Neugarten-Nishino Trio.

To see Steven’s Desert Island Discs click the image below: