Violinist Stephen Waarts has been praised for playing “with technical command and a totally natural sense of musical drama” (Strings Magazine). He has already garnered worldwide recognition, having captured both audience prizes and jury laureate prize in the Queen Elizabeth competition, First Prize, the Bach Prize and the Composer’s Prize at the 2014 Menuhin Competition, First Prize and six additional awards in the 2013 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Second Prize and the Audience Prize in the 2013 Montreal International Competition; and First Prize and romantic Concerto prize in the 2011 International Louis Spohr Competition for Young Violinists. On his prize winning performances in the recent Queen Elizabeth Competition Ariane Todes in Elbow Music commented “For me there was a clear winner (Waarts) in terms of sheer musicality, imagination, range, sensitivity, expression, humility, maturity and chamber musicianship”.
In 2014-2015 season Mr. Waarts participated at the French Classical Music Festival of Silicon Valley, at the Orford - Canada and Lake George - NY Music Festivals and gave concerts with San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and a recital at the Louvre-Paris.
Acclaimed from a young age, Waarts has already performed over fourty standard, as well as rarely performed, violin concertos, appearing as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal and Austin Symphony, and also with orchestras in Russia, Germany, Norway and Spain as well as with numerous orchestras throughout California, such as the Redwood Symphony, the Prometheus Symphony Orchestra among others. He has been a frequent participant of Summer Music Camps including Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Perlman Music Program in New York and Florida, Music@Menlo in California and the Summit Music Festival in New York.
Born in 1996 in San Francisco, Waarts started his music education with Suzuki violin lessons with Krishnabai Lewis and continued it with violin lessons with Jenny Rudin and piano studies with Steve Lightburn. After graduating from both high school and the San Francisco Conservatory Preparatory at age 14, he currently works with Aaron Rosand at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he is pursuing a bachelor of music and 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.