B I O G R A P H Y
"With a bow and fingers as light as feathers Stephen Katz makes a cello bring out meanings you might not have suspected were there."
- The New York Times
Cello lovers will find new dimensions to love in the music of cellist Stephen Katz. His work joins the emotional resonance and refinement of classical music with the roots of rhythm and improvisation.
Trailblazing cellist and award-winning composer Stephen Katz has charted new territory for the rhythmic potential of the cello with the groundbreaking approach he calls Flying Pizzicato. The results are compositions and improvisations that juggle two or more voices at a time, making music that lays grooves, weaves tunes, and lifts spirits.
Stephen has performed his compositions at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and toured internationally as a soloist, and with the Paul Winter Consort, Rachael Sage, Susan Werner, and the Essex String Quartet. He has been featured on American Public Media national broadcasts of Performance Today, and is a NEA grant recipient through the SUNY/Buffalo Arts in Healthcare Initiative.
As a film composer Stephen’s score for The Rich Have Their Own Photographers won the Jury Prize Gold Medal for Best Impact of Music in a Documentary at the Park City Film Music Festival. His other film scores include Two Square Miles, a film about Hudson, NY, broadcast nationally on PBS/Independent Lens, and The Tenacity Of Hope for Living In Te Light/Cure CMD (Congenital Muscular Dystrophy).
Stephen is also an improviser and composer in the Dance world. He plays regularly at New England movement jams, has collaborated and performed with Andrew Harwood, Chris Aiken, members of Pilobolus and Beverly Blossom dance companies, and has been a Visiting Artist composer at Amherst College. As a co-founder of the movement/theater company Seen & Heard with the late dancer and monologist BJ Goodwin, he literally danced with the cello while accompanying the dramas they played out on stage.
As a teacher, Stephen has been a regular workshop presenter at the New Directions Cello Festival since it’s inception in 1994, and has the distinction of being the most frequent guest performer at the Fest. He also held chamber music residency posts at Yale, Meadowmount, and UMASS Amherst.
A native of San Francisco, Stephen received a Master of Music degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He and his family live in Western Massachusetts.