Stephen Marquiss is one of the most experienced pianist/teachers of his generation. He pioneers a holistic approach to technique, Piano Portals, which challenges assumptions in conventional pedagogy.
Stephen's unique perspective comes from his personal journey from frustration to facility in playing.
It birthed the melodious Joshua's Fire, a set of seven piano pieces charting a human journey, available on streaming and download platforms.
Stephen was born in Bath, England and was educated at Wells Cathedral School, a specialist music school, and then at Christ's College, Cambridge. During his time at Cambridge, Stephen travelled to New York to study with Sophia Rosoff, a pioneering teacher and former student of Abby Whiteside. This sowed the seeds of Piano Portals, which was nearly two decades in its evolution and refinement.
In his early school years, Stephen won the Sheila Mossman Award for the highest ABRSM exam mark in the country, reached the final of the Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists and the televised stage of BBC Young Musicians.
In his later teens, Stephen struggled with so-called RSI and mental health. He refocused on composition and became a rare candidate for a theoretical A Level Music paper in place of a performance, owing to his physical and mental deterioration.
In his 20s, Stephen forged a successful career as a teacher, conductor and piano accompanist. He spearheaded successful community musical projects in and around his native Frome, Somerset, England, including Frome Symphony, the town's orchestra, which thrives two decades on. He helped to catapult the Frome Festival into the international limelight, as Music Director.
Stephen also worked as a piano accompanist at Wells Cathedral School and a piano and Early Years' music teacher at Hazlegrove Preparatory School. He later became a Jolly Music trainer, reflecting his passion for giving children the best possible musical start.
In his 30s, Stephen refocused on the piano, driven by a sense of frustration and under-achievement as a pianist. Determined to uncover the root causes of his own difficulties and help others, Stephen developed Piano Portals, a holistic approach to technique and radical substitute for conventional exercises. It challenges assumptions in orthodox pedagogy and advocates fresh solutions, based on oft-neglected elements of great players' techniques.
Piano Portals has enabled Stephen to realise his dream of playing to his own satisfaction and empowers a growing community of pianists and teachers across the world via Patreon.
In his spare time, Stephen enjoys the outdoors, cycling, motorcycling, walking, photography and film.