Sydney Stevens is a pianist, composer, and music educator. She is an innovator whose music inspires, uplifts, and brings peace.
From her earliest moments Stevens recalls the sounds of her mother, a classically trained professional pianist, practice at a baby grand piano that overlooked the waters of Puget Sound. With her father a jazz pianist, from a young age Stevens’ musical preferences blurred the line between genre distinctions. Whether Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, or Bill Evans, this music was united to Stevens by the common thread of the piano, and excellence in performance.
Stevens was not the only child interested in music in her family – her two sisters both learned violin. Their instrumental combination, in tandem with Stevens’ love of poetry since her childhood, led to a natural interest in much folk and acoustic music and fond memories of playing the music of Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Carol King, and James Taylor together.
As Stevens grew up, her love of music matured and blossomed into the passion to make music more than just an interest. She studied composition and piano with Bill Douglas in Boulder, CO at the Naropa Institute and also attended University of York in York, England before earning a degree in Music Composition, Cum Laude at University of Redlands in Redlands, CA. After graduating, Stevens founded the Water Music label on which she has recorded and released five albums. During this time, she enrolled in graduate study and earned a degree in Music Education, which she used teaching in public schools for 15 years before opening a private studio where she teaches piano to students of all ages.
As a composer, Stevens has been writing since a young age and recorded her debut album, Dancers in the Rain in 1995. While Stevens’ main medium for composition is the piano, her exceptions are noteworthy. Living for a time in Eastern Oregon, Stevens met an oboe and English horn player named Mitch Iimori. Inspired by their friendship, she composed the multi-movement Seasons Suite for oboe/English horn and piano. Critically regarded after appearing on her sophomore album Seasons, the Seasons Suite was noticed by Mark Steighner, director of the Colombia Gorge Sinfonietta. For the Sinfonietta, Stevens arranged the Seasons Suite for orchestra and woodwind soloist and the Suite was performed at a concert that highlighted the works of Oregon composers.
As a recording artist, Stevens seeks to bridge the gap between audible and written music. In addition to releasing five albums, Stevens has steadily begun releasing the sheet music for each track and the sheet music for three complete albums – Cycles of Life (2014), Seasons (2001), and Waltz of Life (2020). Moving forward, Stevens has planned the release of a sixth album, "Footprints", set for a 2023 release. In 2020, Stevens released one of the tracks: "Winds of Change (Blue Jean Tuxedo)" as a single. The song stands as both an ideal and a call. With a musical theme evoking serenity and kindness, Winds of Change heralds a vision of the beauty of what our world can be and challenges the listeners to be the change that creates such beauty.