About Stefan Anderson
Stefan Anderson is a pianist, guitarist and composer with experience writing and performing in classical, folk and rock styles. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Bennington College where he studied composition with Allen Shawn and piano with Yoshiko Sato, whose rigorous yet student-led approach to teaching helped him become a passionate pianist who is eager to introduce new students to the piano using a similar method. At Bennington, Stefan performed piano music from all different musical periods, including his own compositions, and received the John Hendrick Memorial Commission Award.
Stefan graduated from Tufts University in 2012 with a Masters of Arts in music composition after studying with pianist/composer John McDonald. Throughout his classical training, Stefan has written and recorded his own pop music for voice, guitar, and keyboards. As an avid composer, he has a keen sense for arranging and enjoys working with students to create arrangements of their favorite music they can play themselves. Stefan also loves working with interested students on songwriting and recording in many genres, from solo piano and folk music to EDM.
Check out some of his music by clicking the link below!
How old were you when you first started playing?
My family had a small upright piano where I made my first musical creations when I was 9 years old. I remember constantly playing a little song I had written. When I began seriously studying music and piano at college, I realized I could still remember exactly how to play that song!
Where did you go to music school? What did you study there?
I went to Bennington College in Vermont for my Bachelor of Arts degree and Tufts University for my Master of Arts in Music Composition. At Bennington, I completed 4 years of intensive piano study, along with classes including film music, electronic music, contemporary concert music, jazz theory and improvisation, and music composition. At Tufts I focused on composing, but also completed courses on topics ranging from music of the romantic period to contemporary art music.
What are your favorite kinds of music to play and why?
I love playing late Romantic and early modern music because that’s when composers stopped being polite and caring so much about tradition and convention. The excitement they felt while writing this music is so strongly ingrained in the music itself, that I feel it when I play the music, too. The piano had also just become the awesome instrument that is today during this era, and you can tell that composers were having a great time taking the instrument to its limits!
Who are some of your favorite bands and musicians?
The inventiveness of electronic music like New Order and Daft Punk continues to inspire me, as do the work of singer-songwriters Nick Drake and Neil Young. I especially admire how Neil Young has written in so many different styles with such varied instrumentation but still retains a distinct signature sound in each song.
What are some of the musical styles you teach?
I’ve studied, played, and written music in so many different styles that I’m eager to teach almost anything! I love helping students figure out how to play the music they are excited about learning. I encourage them to develop their own style and to explore new types of music, whether those be jazz, rock, contemporary classical music, or Beethoven.
Where are some of the places you’ve performed?
I’ve performed at the Distler Auditorium at Tufts, the Cantab Lounge, and the Lily Pad in Cambridge, as well as at countless basement house shows from Milwaukee to Somerville.
What are your other musical pursuits and accomplishments?
I’ve been writing music for most of my life using primarily voice and guitar. I’m constantly recording new music and reworking old songs, of which I have released two albums so far. I specialize in fingerpicking guitar styles like folk and blues, but am also interested in classical guitar. At Tufts, I focused on writing art music and developing my own unique style. I had the opportunity to write music for all sort of ensembles including guitar and choir, saxophone quartet, mixed percussion and strings.
What are some of your artistic goals?
I hope to eventually get my Ph.D in music composition. I would also like to play more with my band Loveseat and maybe go on tour with them in the summertime. I mainly just want to keep writing, playing, and teaching music, and continue improving and experimenting in all three.