Piano Spheres supports and encourages the composition and performance of major new works for the piano. It enlarges the piano repertoire by commissioning new works and sustaining a concert series that focuses primarily on works by contemporary composers.
Piano Spheres was founded in 1994 by pianist Leonard Stein to present the best of contemporary piano music as well as rarely heard treasures from centuries past. Stein, a protégé of Arnold Schoenberg and founding Director of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, was a champion of new music for more than sixty years, both in Los Angeles and abroad, as pianist, scholar, teacher, and presenter. He selected a group of four of his most adventuresome, new-music-minded former students from the University of Southern California – Gloria Cheng, Vicki Ray, Mark Robson, and Susan Svrček – to mentor as his colleagues in a unique cooperative venture: a concert series presenting five solo piano recitals programmed by each of the five pianists, all of whom share a fierce dedication to new and unusual music. Each pianist has continued to present a yearly Piano Spheres recital since that time.
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