The Bowed Piano Ensemble, founded by Stephen Scott at Colorado College in 1977, has evolved into a small orchestra whose ten players conjure, from one open grand piano, long, singing lines, sustained drones, chugging accordion-like figures, crisp staccato tones reminiscent of clarinets, deep drum tones and more, often simultaneously, to create a rich, contrapuntal new-chamber-music tapestry. The Ensemble has made nine European tours and three to Australia. We have performed at world-renowned venues such as the Sydney Opera House, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, the medieval Town Hall in Tallinn, Estonia and Jameos del Agua, a volcanic lava-tube-become-concert-hall in Lanzarote, Canary Islands. The Ensemble has performed commissioned works with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, New York Philharmonic English horn soloist Thomas Stacy and the London ensemble Piano Circus. Our six recordings (three with soprano Victoria Hansen) are on the New Albion, Albany and Navona labels.
After 37 years based at Colorado College, the Bowed Piano Ensemble has ended its academic affiliation. The new home of the BPE will be a spacious rehearsal and performance studio at Cottonwood Center for the Arts in downtown Colorado Springs.
“Few composers achieve true originality in their palette. Occasionally a composer comes along who finds his territory and explores every nook and cranny within it, luxuriating in its richness. Stephen Scott's brilliant forays into the interior of the piano must be included with the prepared piano work of John Cage (and) the player piano machinations of Conlon Nancarrow as examples of startlingly unique artistic vision. The instrument speaks in a new but strangely familiar voice, as harps, mandolins and orchestral strings seem to emerge. Scott has found his own orchestra in there.”