Steven Copes

Concertmaster, John M. and Elizabeth W. Musser Chair

Violinist Steven Copes joined The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as Concertmaster in 1998, and since then has led the SPCO from the first chair in many highly acclaimed, eclectic programs. He appears frequently as soloist with the SPCO and many other ensembles around the world.

A zealous advocate of the music of today, he gave the world premiere of George Tsontakis' Grammy-nominated Violin Concerto No. 2 (2003), which won the 2005 Grawemeyer award and has been recorded for KOCH Records, and also gave the NY premiere of Lutoslawski's Subito (1992) for Violin and Piano. In June of 2017 he gave the World Premiere of Pierre Jalbert's Violin Concerto with Thomas Zehetmair conducting the SPCO.

An avid chamber musician, Copes has performed at festivals and concert series such as Aspen, Boston Chamber Music Society, Caramoor, Cartagena, Chamber Music Northwest, Chestnut Hill, La Jolla Summerfest, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, Mainly Mozart, Marlboro, Moritzburg, Mozaic, Norfolk, Olympic Music Festival, Piccolo Spoleto, Salt Bay Chamberfest, Santa Fe, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Skaneateles, Styriarte, and at other festivals across the globe. He co-founded the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Colorado as well as Accordo, a chamber music group in the Twin Cities, now in its 12th season.

A frequent guest Concertmaster/Leader, Copes has recorded and toured extensively throughout Europe and Asia with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and has performed in the same capacity with the likes of the Baltimore Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Halle Orchestra, Houston Symphony, London Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a classical musician?

“A chef or sous-chef in some earthy, organic, farm-to-table restaurant in the middle of nowhere, a writer of silly things or children’s books, or a cartoonist/illustrator.”