Stephen Waarts
Violin

“an outstanding debut … difficult music, in a range of styles and impeccably rendered — Waarts showed an uncommon, preternatural sense of tonal color and lyrical beauty...” (The Washington Post)

Contacts

Lydia Connolly +44 (0)20 3725 9118
Katie Cardell-Oliver +44 (0)20 3725 9149

Biography

Stephen Waarts’s innate and individual musical voice is establishing him as a firm favourite with audiences in North America and Europe. His prize-winning success at the 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition – including securing the majority vote of the television audience – boosted international attention. In March 2017 he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. 

With a voracious appetite for repertoire, Stephen has already performed over thirty standard, as well as rarely performed, violin concertos and is a passionate chamber musician. 

Stephen Waarts’s innate and individual musical voice is establishing him as a firm favourite with audiences in North America and Europe. His prize-winning success at the 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition – including securing the majority vote of the television audience – boosted international attention. In March 2017 he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. 

With a voracious appetite for repertoire, Stephen has already performed over thirty standard, as well as rarely performed, violin concertos and is a passionate chamber musician. 

Upcoming highlights include his debut with hr-Sinfonieorchester under Eschenbach, Münchner Philharmoniker, Kansas City Symphony under Zinman, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra as well as invitations from Adrian Brendel to the Plush Festival, and by Steven Isserlis to Prussia Cove. Stephen made his debut at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in 2017 and returned to the Krzyżowa-Music Festival where in 2015 he was awarded the Mozart Gesellschaft Dortmund scholarship. Stephen will be performing in recital and chamber music in New York, Paris, Berlin, The Netherlands and will be touring to Japan with Marie-Elisabeth Hecker and Martin Helmchen.                                   

Stephen is currently at the Kronberg Academy studying under Mihaela Martin and recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute, Philadelphia where he studied under Aaron Rosand. Prior to this he worked with Itzhak Perlman at the Perlman Music Program and Li Lin at the San Francisco Conservatory. In 2013 he won the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York, aged just 17. He was also prize-winner at the 2014 Menuhin and the 2013 Montreal International Competitions. 

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Contacts

Lydia Connolly +44 (0)20 3725 9118
Katie Cardell-Oliver +44 (0)20 3725 9149

Reviews

“The music’s expressive power was always controlled and his beautiful tone enriched everynote.” (The Strad, August 2017)

"Mr. Waarts was commanding in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor…Mr. Waarts tapped into tensions within the Neo-Classical veneer of Prokofiev’s music. That opening movement goes through dramatic shifts, from moments of dreamy lyricism, which Mr. Waarts shaped with melting beauty, to bursts of perpetual-motion busyness, which he dispatched with articulate fervor." (Anthony Tommasini, NY Times, May 2017)

“The Dutch-American violinist has a vigorous, energetic touch and a very advanced technique. The music sounds elegant and cultured when he sings it with his silver tone.” (Dortmunder Kultur, February 2017)

“The music’s expressive power was always controlled and his beautiful tone enriched everynote.” (The Strad, August 2017)

"Mr. Waarts was commanding in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor…Mr. Waarts tapped into tensions within the Neo-Classical veneer of Prokofiev’s music. That opening movement goes through dramatic shifts, from moments of dreamy lyricism, which Mr. Waarts shaped with melting beauty, to bursts of perpetual-motion busyness, which he dispatched with articulate fervor." (Anthony Tommasini, NY Times, May 2017)

“The Dutch-American violinist has a vigorous, energetic touch and a very advanced technique. The music sounds elegant and cultured when he sings it with his silver tone.” (Dortmunder Kultur, February 2017)

“The Eindhovense listeners at least have recognised and embraced him as a musical genius.” (Eindhovens Dagblad, October 2016)

“Stephen Waarts gave an outstanding debut at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. In a fine program of Beethoven, Bartok, Ravel and Waxman — difficult music, in a range of styles and impeccably rendered — Waarts showed an uncommon, preternatural sense of tonal color and lyrical beauty on the instrument.” (The Washington Post)

“Still in his teens, Stephen Waarts, as tall and thin as Ichabod Crane but with an angelic countenance that mirrored his fiddling, played the Brahms Concerto with unreal poise, technical command, and a totally natural sense of musical drama, complementing conductor Maxim Vengerov’s visionary approach and the Montreal Symphony’s inspired playing.” (Strings Magazine)

“Mr. Waarts showed himself a technically accomplished and musically insightful artist, though he was most impressive in Bartok’s extraordinary Sonata for Solo Violin. Mr. Waarts, playing commandingly from memory, balanced passages that evolve in the halting dance idiom of the chaconne with rhapsodic stretches that in this gripping account seemed somberly ruminative. He was comparably inspired in the resolute intricate fugue, the searching slow movement marked Melodia, and the frenetic finale.” (The New York Times) 

“Waarts displayed well-polished sonorities that were consistently executed with cleanliness and clarity. He played through his part as if nothing Mendelssohn had written posed any unmanageable challenge. This was familiar music; but the execution had a freshness to it. This was a reading that seized attention from the opening notes and held it to the final cadence.” (Examiner.com)

“From the first note … I was hooked, and within a few bars, I was moved to tears” (The Strad) - 2010 Menuhin Competition in Oslo, Norway

 “In the finale, we saw a return of Waarts’ agility and speed as he and the orchestra flew to a rousing finale. The audience leapt to their feet to give him what is sure to be one of many standing ovations in what is sure to be a stellar career.” (Daily Republic)