Stephen (West Coast)


Photo by Barbara Parmet

Stephen Kelly is a classically trained pianist who has performed solo concerts in France, Spain, and Costa Rica, as well as across the United States. He received his primary training from Galina Michniuk and Erno Daniel. Locally, he has presented numerous recitals at the Music Academy of the West, as well as three solo performances at the Lobero Theatre, including one presented by the Santa Barbara Symphony. His studies of classical Indian music have been with Krishna Govinda and Hom Nath Upadhyaya of Nepal, as well as with Montino Bourbon of the Ali Akbar Khan gharana. As a dancer, he trained for two years in the majors program at UCSB, and continued his work under the great jazz dancer Matt Maddox in Paris, and later, with the flamenco master Pepe Mancilla in Spain. In Europe, he played for the classes of Josette Amiel (Paris Opera Ballet) and company class of Ballets Blaska. He has been invited to witness the choreographic process of Lucas Hoving, Felix Blaska, and Remy Charlip. He has collaborated with a number of choreographers and dance companies, performing live onstage, as well as serving as music director and composer. His performance at the Luckman Auditorium in Los Angeles with Nancy Colahan was termed “superb” by the Los Angeles Times. As a choreographer, he has been privileged to work with some of the finest professional dancers from the Colorado Ballet, State Street Ballet, and Santa Barbara Dance Theater. Together with Juliana Bertelson, he served as co-producer for two seasons of the “Endangered Species” dance collective at Center Stage Theater.  Stephen Kelly is co-founder of the Future Traditions Foundation, Co-Founder and Co-Creator of ArtBark International and its affiliated ADaPT Festival series. His most recent collaborative effort with ArtBark International, and excerpt from the Alma Karlin Project,  premiered in Los Angeles for the Awakenings and Beginnings Festival. 

Press Quotes

“Superb on-stage performance by Stephen Kelly”
Los Angeles Times

“Very felicitous (interpretation) of the contemporary work.”
ABC de Sevilla

“Superb piano artistry”
Santa Barbara News-Press

“Stephen Kelly's piece, "Atesh, Bayan, Ghuzal Adam," featured his incredibly imaginative and well-
formed original music score, and demonstrated his understanding of the connective nuances of
body movement to sound.”
Dan Kepl - Santa Barbara News Press

“a brilliant trio.”
Charles Donelan - Santa Barbara Independent

“This piece should tour to every college in America as an example of good choreography.”
Amanda Hart – producer of MixMatch Dance Festival