Stephen Waarts

Concert Recording:  Prodigy & Pops, 15 November 2008; Return of the Prodigy, 12 & 13 March 2010; Prodigy Plays Mendelssohn, 3&4 June 2011; FALL for Brahms - again, 19 & 20 November 2011; Waarts Plays Sibelius, 19 & 20 May 2012; Waarts Plays Prokofiev, 2&3 March 2013



“From the first note of Stephen Waarts’ Brahms G Major Sonata I was hooked, and within a few bars I was moved to tears.” —The Strad

Violinist Stephen Waarts has already made a name for himself in the competition circuit worldwide, having captured First Prize at the 2014 Menuhin Competition in Austin, TX, Second Prize and the Audience Prize in the 2013 Montreal International Competition, and First Prize in the 2011 International Louis Spohr Competition for Young Violinists in Weimar.

First Prize Winner of the 2013 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, his 2014-15 season highlights include recital debuts on the Young Concert Artists Series at the Kennedy Center and Merkin Concert Hall, re-engagements with the Silicon Valley Symphony and San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and appearances at the Louvre, the Lake George Music Festival, the Silicon Valley Music Festival, the Orford Festival, and with the Buffalo Chamber Music Society

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Stephen Waarts’ extraordinary gifts have brought him acclaim from a young age. He has already performed over thirty standard and rarely performed violin concertos, appearing as soloist with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, as well as with numerous orchestras throughout California, including the Redwood Symphony, the Winchester Orchestra of San Jose, the Prometheus Symphony Orchestra, and the American Philharmonic Sonoma County. He has performed four times at Music@Menlo and twice at Summit Music Festival.

At the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Mr. Waarts was also honored with YCA’s Rhoda Walker Teagle Prize, which sponsors his New York debut, and five other special awards: the Sander Buchman Prize, the Paul A. Fish Prize, the Ronald A. Asherson Prize, and a concerto appearance with the Albany Symphony.

Stephen Waarts started his music education with Suzuki violin lessons and piano studies, and studied with Li Lin at the San Francisco Conservatory. He studied with Itzhak Perlman at the Perlman Music Program from 2010 to 2013. He currently studies at the Curtis Institute with Aaron Rosand, where he holds the Frank S. Bayley Annual Fellowship. In addition to his music studies, he is also an accomplished mathematician and has won several national math awards.

[Pronunciation: Surname “Waarts” rhymes with “Hearts”]

Preceding announcements supplied courtesy of Young Concert Artists, Inc. and photo by Matt Dine.

The following is archived from our pevious performances with Stephen.

Thanks to Jim Box for many of the Photos by Box Camera

Stephen Waarts, age 16, started his violin studies in the Bay Area, California at age 5 and piano studies at age 8 and, after graduating from both high school and the San Francisco Conservatory Preparatory at age 14, is currently pursuing a bachelor of music at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.  Since age 11, Stephen has been performing with numerous professional and community orchestras all over the world, playing a large repertoire including many rarely performed violin concertos. A winner of numerous international violin competitions, including the Menuhin Competition, Spohr Competition and recently the Sarasate Competition (open to age 27 ), Stephen has received rave reviews in several continents for his soulful and poetic playing, his artistry, unique tone and true virtuosity. On his prize winning performances the UK’s Daily Telegraph rhapsodized: "It was blindingly clear that this ... boy was something special,.. not just the mechanical wonder, but a soul." And the Strad magazine: “from the first note…I was hooked, and within a few bars I was moved to tears…such an experience is rare… Although it is possible to analyze it (the magic in Waarts' playing)...perhaps it is better not to try…truly poetic and sincere” heartfelt, vulnerable…I stopped noticing his playing…what soul!” Maestro Runnicles

Stephen has performed in Germany, Spain, Norway, Moscow-Russia and all over the US including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as hundreds of performances near his home in the California Bay Area. He has played, often multiple times, with the Staatskapelle Weimar Orchestra, Navarra Symphony, Kostroma Symphony, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, Fremont Symphony, Symphony Parnassus, Redwood Symphony, Silicon Valley Symphony, Saratoga Symphony, Solano Symphony, Prometheus Symphony, and multitude others.  Starting at age 11, playing the technically challenging Paganini Concerto No. 1 and Wieniawski Concerto No. 1, in performances barely two and half weeks apart, he since played over 20 violin concertos considered part of the main repertoire for violin. In addition he has performed many rarely performed concertos including Castelnuovo-Tedesco “Prophets” Violin Concerto, Paganini Violin Concerto No. 2, Walton violin Concerto, Mendelssohn violin Concerto in D minor, and Wieniawski Concerto No. 1. His concerts have been both critically acclaimed and popular successes. To quote from a few reviews:  On his recent March 2012 Tchaikovsky Concerto performance with Solano Symphony it was written: “Even in a region rich in musical talent, young Waarts is an exceptional talent…A virtuoso show-piece, the concerto requires confidence and expertise; Waarts displayed ample amounts of both….soulful". (Daily Republic) On an August 2011 performance of the Castelnuovo-Tedesco Prophets Concerto with the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony it was enthused: “Hands down hit of the evening was the young violinist Stephen Waarts…delivered a masterful performance of a complex and demanding work. This reviewer had the privilege of taking a few lessons from Tedesco myself back in the ‘60’s.. I believe he would have been overjoyed to hear what Stephen Waarts and the LAJS did with his concerto..” (Baruch Cohon) On his June 2011 performance of Mendelssohn in E minor Concerto with Silicon Valley Symphony: “the emotion-evoking quality of his sound.. bring me to tears with that rare beauty” “extraordinary technique” (San Mateo Daily Journal)   (cont. below)

Videos of Stephen Waarts with the Silicon Valley Symphony

on YouTube

Waarts Plays Prokofiev, 1&2 March 2013


Stephen Waarts, Violin Soloist
Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 19 in D major

Waarts Plays Sibelius, 19 May 2012

SVS DVD right cover_19May12

Stephen Waarts, Violin Soloist
Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47


DVD - "Waarts Plays Sibelius", $25 (Receive gift: Waarts Plays Sibelius DVD - FREE Shipping)

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Fall for Brahms - again, 20 November 2011

StephenWaarts, Violin Soloist

Stephen Waarts, Violin Soloist
Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor

Prodigy Plays Mendelssohn, 4 June 2011

Stephan Waarts, Violin Soloist

Stephen Waarts, Violin Soloist
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor

Return of the Prodigy, 12 & 13 March 2010

Silicon Valley Symphony Concert: Return of the Prodigy

Introduction Video

This is similar to a movie trailer.

Stephen Waarts, Violin Soloist
Brahms: Violin Concerto  in D Major, Op. 77

Prodigy & Pops, 15 November 2008

Silicon Valley Symphony Concert: Prodigy & Pops

Stephen Waarts, Violin Soloist
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto

 At the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, Stephen studies violin with celebrated violinist and master teacher Aaron Rosand, (with whom he had been collaborating occasionally since early 2010). There he also continues his piano studies, with Annie Petit, his general music and composition studies, and is a member of the acclaimed Curtis orchestra. Since April 2005 Stephen has been a student at the studio of world-renowned Bay Area violin pedagogue Li Lin. He joined the San Francisco Conservatory, Preparatory Division in 2009, as a scholarship student, continuing there his violin studies with Li Lin, and studying also musicianship and composition, often writing his own cadenzas for concertos in addition to other compositions. Concurrently, since 2009 Stephen has also been receiving regular periodic lessons from Alexander Barantschik, Concertmaster of San Francisco Symphony, and Baroque violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock, and since 2010 he is also a student at the Perlman Music Program, headed by Itzhak Perlman. Stephen started his music education with violin lessons as part of a Suzuki violin program with Krishnabai Lewis and continued lessons with Jenny Rudin.  He started piano studies with Steve Lightburn and since June 2006 he continued them with Irina Sharogradski. A passionate chamber music player, Stephen has been part of the Music at Menlo program led by David Finckel and Wu Han for 4 summers since 2005, and he continues his chamber playing at the Curtis Institute and at the Perlman Program. During Stephen’s frequent visits to his Bay area home he continues his close collaboration with his long time violin teacher Li Lin and continues working with local orchestras and volunteering recitals at local retirement communities.  

Apart from his wide interest in music, Stephen is also an avid mathematician (having won many national math awards) and visual artist.  In the rest of his free time he enjoys reading, table tennis, swimming, card games, and playing with his friends, including his younger sister and twin brother. Find more about Stephen at


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