Steven Cowan

Academic title(s): 

Course lecturer

Steven Cowan
Department: 
Music Performance
Area(s): 
String
Contact Information
Email address: 
steven.cowan [at] mcgill.ca
Instrument(s): 
Classical Guitar
Guitar
Group: 
Faculty
Biography: 

The Canadian guitarist Steve Cowan has performed and taught throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. His debut album of Canadian music, Pour guitare (McGill Recording Prize, 2016), helped to establish him as ‘one of Canada’s top contemporary classical guitarists’ (Classical Guitar Magazine). In 2018–2019, Steve made his concerto debut with Ensemble del Arte in Germany, his New York solo recital debut, and released his second solo recording Arctic Sonata (EMEC discos).

As a chamber musician, Steve performs regularly with Forestare, a Montréal-based string ensemble; in 2022, he will be a Chamber Music New Zealand touring artist with flutist Hannah Darroch, as well as a Prairie Debut touring artist with guitarist Adam Cicchillitti. The Cowan–Cicchillitti duo has premièred 15 new works and released an album of Canadian music titled Focus (Analekta, 2019); their second recording, Impressions intimes (Analekta, 2021), features original arrangements of Debussy, Ravel, Mompou and Tailleferre.

Steve has won awards at ten national and international competitions, eight of which are first prizes. Most recently, he won First Prize at the Tallinn Guitar Competition in Estonia, making him a EuroStrings touring artist for the 2021 season. Also a distinguished teacher, Steve has given public masterclasses at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, the Royal Danish Academy of Music, the University of Victoria, Guitare Alla Grande, and more.

Steve is originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland, and holds degrees from Memorial University, the Manhattan School of Music and McGill University. His teachers include Sylvie Proulx, David Leisner and Jérôme Ducharme. Since 2019, he has been a guitar instructor at Schulich School of Music of McGill University.

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