By Marcy Stamper
Award-winning pianist Stephen Beus, whose performances are described as mesmerizing and strikingly original, returns to The Merc Playhouse for a solo concert on Saturday, March 10, at 7 p.m.
Beus has roots on a farm in Eastern Washington, but since his orchestral debut at age 9 he has ascended to music studies at the Juilliard School and to performances at Carnegie Hall and on concert stages around the world.
Beus is noted for his sensitive interpretations of solo piano works and concertos, but he is also known for tackling some of the most challenging repertoire for piano.
One reviewer noted that he “dived into the titanic difficulties of Rachmaninoff’s Third without breaking a sweat” and another said his playing is “so natural as to seem effortless.” One even called his talent “downright freakish.”
Beus has performed as a guest soloist with orchestras including the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, the Northwest Sinfonietta in Seattle, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Morocco. He has given recitals across the U.S. and in Europe, Asia and Africa. He has recorded music by J.S. Bach, Dmitry Kabalevsky, Samuel Barber and others.
Beus performed at The Merc last November along with members of the Kairos ensemble, playing a piano trio by Felix Mendelssohn and a demanding work for solo piano by Franz Liszt.
Beus is an assistant professor of keyboard performance at Brigham Young University.
Tickets for the concert, sponsored by Cascadia Music, are $20 for general admission and $5 for students, and are available at brownpapertickets.com and at the door.