Assistant Professor, Voice
In an increasingly specialized world, Stephen Hargreaves considers himself very lucky to divide his musical skills in a variety of ways. Upon Hargreaves' mother noticing he had slurred speech as a beginning talker, he subsequently went through 11 sets of ear tubes. From the moment he could hear clearly, he fell in love with sound and music in all forms. Trained as a solo pianist and french horn player, Hargreaves attended Indiana University where he studied with Myron Bloom while furthering his piano skills and eventually making the acquaintance of Martina Arroyo from whom he gained a love of vocal repertoire and, ultimately, opera. Hargreaves’ professional start came early, paying for his college education as a collaborative pianist and truncating his senior year to act as repetiteur and assistant conductor. This was followed by a string of professional engagements in the following 15 years that included solo concerti such as Brahms' 2nd, Rachmaninoff's 3rd; collaborative chamber work with instrumentalists and singers; multiple solo recitals and operatic conducting/assistant conducting/harpsichord continuo at regional and international companies amounting to over 100 unique productions all under the age of 40. Hargreaves loves a challenge and gravitates toward virtuosic early music and new works that push boundaries both musically and artistically. To this regard, he passionately believes in the need for fostering the love of (and access to) music for all. He is thrilled to be a professor at the Schulich School of Music at McGill and hopes to share what he knows and inspire those around him to be the finest new generation of musicians.
As a solo pianist, he has performed Brahms' 2nd Piano Concerto with the Grand Forks Symphony, a world premier of F.G. Parmentier's 3rd Piano Concerto with the Green Bay Symphony, Rachmaninoff's 3rd Piano Concerto with the Marion Indiana Philharmonic, as well as recitals and solo performances at venues such as the Maverick Festival, Chicago Cultural Center, Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, and Macau International Music Festival.
As a collaborator, Hargreaves has toured frequently with Hudson Shad, a barbershop quintet with piano, that performs music of the Comedian Harmonists, the Revelers, and the Mills Brothers. Hargreaves is also busy as a harpsichordist having played continuo for opera companies including Santa Fe Opera, Chicago Opera Theater and Canadian Opera Company. Hargreaves led Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro from a replica of Mozart's fortepiano for Opera Omaha; conducted and played Jake Heggie's Three Decembers from the piano-conducting Heggie (who played in the orchestra) and Frederica von Stade; conducted and played the highly acclaimed "swimming pool" production of Ricky Ian Gordon's Orpheus and Euridice for Chicago Opera Theater, and appeared as harpsichordist for COC’s Hercules, Clemenza and Semele (which was remounted at the Brooklyn Academy of Music).
Hargreaves has conducted at Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Omaha, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Glimmerglass Festival, Festival Lyrique de Belle-île-en-mer, Pine Mountain Opera, Union Avenue Opera and Opera McGill (where he performed the world premiere of his own reorchestration of Bluebeard’s Castle and the North American premiere of East o’ the Sun, West o’ the Moon). He has assisted conductors including Stephen Lord, Steuart Bedford, Harry Bicket, Jane Glover, Emmanuelle Haïm, Alan Gilbert, Julius Rudel, Nader Abbassi, Pablo Heras Casado and Rinaldo Alessandrini. Hargreaves has also acted as vocal coach and assistant conductor at Washington National Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Santa Fe Opera, and Utah Opera.