Stephen Marquiss is one of the most experienced pianist/teachers of his generation. He pioneers a holistic approach to playing, which challenges assumptions in conventional pedagogy.
Stephen's unique perspective comes from his personal journey from frustration to facility in playing.
This led to Piano Portals - a mindful daily practice for adult pianists and radical substitute for conventional exercises.
It also birthed the melodious, ambient Joshua's Fire, a set of seven piano pieces charting a human journey, available on all major 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, refocusing on composition over piano and becoming a rare candidate for a theoretical A Level Music paper in place of a performance.
In his 20s, Stephen's piano-playing took a back seat. He spearheaded successful community musical projects in and around his native Frome, Somerset, England, including Frome Symphony, the town's orchestra, which thrives nearly 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 passionate belief that the best musical start can prevent many of the difficulties that Piano Portals seeks to address in adulthood from ever occurring.
In his 30s, Stephen refocused on the piano, driven by a sense of compulsion, frustration and under-achievement as a pianist. Over a decade, Stephen completed Piano Portals - a holistic daily practice for adult pianists and radical substitute for conventioanl exercises. approach to playing. It boldly challenges assumptions that have failed generations of all but the most naturally coordinated pianists.
Piano Portals enabled Stephen to realise his dream of playing to his own satisfaction. It empowered him to overcome mental blocks and to play by ear. It offers a radical path to fluent, expressive playing, free of excess tension, to a growing community of open-minded pianists and teachers across the world. It's available as books/ebooks and audio from the shop. Piano Portals Online will be launched in early 2020, and will comprise an online course of more than 100 videos.
In his spare time, Stephen enjoys the outdoors, cycling, motorcycling, walking, photography and film.