Stephen De Pledge (New Zealand)
New Zealand pianist Stephen De Pledge has a wide-ranging career as soloist, chamber musician and song accompanist. After studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he won the Gold Medal, he spent two years as a Junior Fellow at the Royal College of Music.
Stephen’s solo performances have taken him to Hong Kong, Italy, France, Singapore, Japan, Australia and the USA, in addition to numerous appearances in London, at Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre, Barbican Hall and Kings Place. Concerto appearances include the Philharmonia (London), Bournemouth Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony and New London orchestras. He has recorded solo works of Bliss, Messiaen and Arvo Pärt, for whom he made the world premiere recording of the piano sonatinas. He also made the premiere recording of the 4 Piano Preludes of Gorecki.
As a chamber musician, Stephen has collaborated with groups such as the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, the English Chamber Orchestra Ensemble and the Scottish Ensemble. Recent chamber music performances have been in New York, Dresden, Bogotà, Shanghai, Paris and Beijing, and he has performed at many International Festivals in the UK and abroad. Stephen has also worked in recital with many musicians, including Dame Felicity Lott, Raphael Wallfisch, Alan Hacker and Viktoria Mullova.
Stephen’s repertoire is far-reaching, from the music of the 17th to the 21st centuries. In 2001 he performed the complete chamber works of Arvo Pärt during the Edinburgh Festival, under the guidance of the composer, and he has become particularly associated with the music of Messiaen, which he studied in Paris with the composer’s widow, the late Yvonne Loriod. In 2008 he gave the first performance of the ‘Landscape Preludes’, twelve new works by New Zealand composers, at the International Festival in Wellington, and with the NZSO has recorded the piano concerto of Lyell Cresswell, released in 2014.
In addition to his solo recordings, Stephen’s recordings for Naxos, Sanctuary Classics, ASV, Quartz and Landor labels include song cycles by Ned Rorem and Samuel Barber, and chamber music of Messiaen, Shostakovich, Schnittke and Pärt. He has broadcast for Radio 3 and Classic FM in the UK, and also on radio in USA, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden, and for BBC Television.
In 2010 Stephen took up the position of Senior Lecturer in Piano at the University of Auckland, a position he holds whilst continuing to perform in the UK and internationally.
The Michael Hill International Violin Competition 2014 Winner’s Tour is made possible through the exceptional collegiality with partners Chamber Music New Zealand and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.
We warmly acknowledge our other tour presenting partners:
In addition to the generosity shown by our sponsors, we wish to thank the following companies for their support of the 2014 Winner’s Tour:
Tour ground transportation has been provided by Wellington International Airport, printing of the programme book provided by ODT Print, attire for Nikki Chooi provided by Working Style, Queenstown hospitality equipment provided by Party Plus, Queenstown artist accommodation provided by Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa.