From his earliest days studying piano at the renowned Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, Stephen J. Wood has refused to tread anything other than his own unique path. Seminally influenced by the early 20th Century composers Maurice Ravel, Francis Poulenc and Richard Rodney Bennett and jazz artists Dave Brubeck, Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans, Stephen has sought to meld the seemingly disparate worlds of classical music and jazz in his teaching, performance, composition and arranging to high acclaim.
Stephen soon became well known and sought-after as both pianist and jazz organist; performing in venues throughout the North of England and beyond, and has featured on numerous national and local radio programmes over the years. More than thirty-five years on, Stephen has had vast experience in the music industry as performer, composer, arranger and is a highly qualified teacher too; having a PhD related to music composition in addition to many other music qualifications, and is a former university lecturer.
As a composer and arranger, stylistically, Stephen sits somewhere between classical music and jazz - his music, whilst being both sophisticated and unique, is always wonderfully accessible! Stephen’s published work for solo piano includes his highly acclaimed Hinterland Suite Parts 1 & 2; Sketches Books 1, 2 and 3 and Reflections (twelve Preludes); and the latest Piano Works Books 1 & 2 in 2021 - all available as sheet music books, CDs and downloads. Stephen has also been commissioned to write for the ABRSM piano exam syllabus, who, along with the Australian Music Examination Board, have published some of his work in their piano exam anthologies.
Stephen is also well-known in Scotland and beyond as an innovative arranger of traditional Gaelic and Scottish songs in his Contemporary Scottish Collection for Piano (six books plus CD recordings). Many of these pieces have been used in The Royal National Mòd in Scotland since 2001 and have received enthusiastically by many eminent musicians and educators. These books are listed and recommended by the Scottish Curriculum Authority for use in Universities', Colleges', and Schools’ music departments throughout Scotland and are recommended repertoire for use on the LCM Exams Traditional Music exams syllabi.
Stephen is fortunate to live on the beautiful Cartmel Peninsula in the Lake District, England, where he continues to compose, arrange and record his music. In addition, Stephen continues his love for teaching classical and jazz piano at his private teaching practice in Cumbria.