Steven Copes, violin
Violinist Steven Copes leads a diverse and enthusiastic musical life as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader. He joined the SPCO as Concertmaster in 1998, and since then has led the orchestra from the chair in several highly acclaimed, eclectic programs. He also appears frequently as soloist with the SPCO, performing concerti by Bach, Berg, Brahms, Hindemith, Kirchner, Korngold, Lutoslawski, Mozart, Piazzolla, Prokofiev, Schnittke and Weill. In addition, he has performed as soloist with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, the Colorado Symphony, the Sao Paolo State Symphony, and the New Symphony Orchestra in Sofia, Bulgaria. A zealous advocate of the music of today, he gave the world premiere of George Tsontakis’ Grammy-nominated Violin Concerto No. 2 (2003), which won the 2005 Grawemeyer award and has been recorded for KOCH Records, and also gave the NY premiere of Lutoslawski’s Subito (1992) for Violin and Piano. He has also performed John Novacek’s Four Rags with the composer on NPR’s Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. Recent and upcoming solo engagements include the Korngold Violin Concerto with Rossen Milanov and the SPCO, Scott Yoo and the Festival Mozaic Orchestra, the Berg Chamber Concerto with Oliver Knussen and pianist Kirill Gerstein at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and the Weill Violin Concerto with Edo de Waart and the SPCO.
An avid chamber musician, Copes has performed at festivals and concert series such as Aspen, Boston Chamber Music Society, Bridgehampton, Caramoor, Cartagena, Cello Plus, Chamber Music Northwest, Charlottesville, Colorado College, El Paso Pro Musica, Four Seasons, Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, La Jolla Summerfest, Mainly Mozart, Marlboro, Mozaic, Norfolk, Piccolo Spoleto, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Skaneateles, Styriarte, Sweetwater Music Weekend, and at other festivals across the globe. He co-founded the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Colorado as well as Accordo, a new chamber group based in the Twin Cities, now in its third season.
As guest Concertmaster, Copes has toured extensively throughout Europe and Asia with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and performed in the same capacity with the Baltimore Symphony, London Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony. He has taught and coached at the New World Symphony in Miami, Colorado College Summer Festival, National Orchestral Institute in Maryland, and at Western Michigan University, Indiana University, University of Minnesota, and Roosevelt University in Chicago. A native of Los Angeles, he holds degrees from The Curtis Institute and Juilliard, and his teachers include Robert Lipsett, Aaron Rosand, Robert Mann and Felix Galimir for chamber music. Copes performs on a violin made in 1997 by Samuel Zygmuntowicz.
He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife Anne Halvorson and their newborn daughter Ella, their two cats Daphne and Cleo, and their Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, Lucie.