"Pianist Steven Kings not only accompanied [the Schumann Lieder] with supreme sensitivity but also added four movements from Schumann’s Kinderszenen – again, played with immense musical authority." (Bristol Post, October 2017)
performances as pianist have attracted praise from listeners and reviewers. His 50th birthday recital (July 2012) was played to a full house at the Bristol Music Club, and given 8/10 by the Bristol Evening Post. [See and hear]
His performance of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition in the 2010 Bristol Cathedral Summer Festival was reviewed as "an excellently controlled performance with some scintillating playing". His 2009 recording of piano music by John Pitts received a four-star review in the Independent (“deftly impressive”), and Musicweb International described his playing as “stunning....authoritative and tremendously agile”. [Listen and buy]
His recital repertoire has included music by Beethoven, Berg, Chopin, Debussy, Gershwin, Janacek, Liszt, Messiaen [Listen], Mussorgsky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Ravel [Listen], Scriabin, Stravinsky and Webern. He has appeared as the piano soloist in performances of Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. In November 2006 he performed Beethoven's Choral Fantasia with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Bristol Choral Society in the Colston Hall, Bristol. In June 2007 he was the soloist in Lambert's Rio Grande with the Oxford Bach Choir, and he played this work again with Bristol Choral Society and the Bath Philharmonia at the Colston Hall in June 2009.
Steven regularly performs as a chamber musician. He was a founder member of the New Chamber Players, with whom he performed around the country. In recent years he has appeared as guest pianist with the Bristol Ensemble on many occasions. In 2005 he formed a duo with Christopher Northam, playing two-piano music from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries including works by Debussy, Lutoslawski, Martinu, Rachmaninov, David Bedford and Robin Holloway. Reviewers of their first CD called their playing "accomplished" and "virtuosic" (Philip Scowcroft), describing them as "outstanding pianists who work superbly well together" (Ian Milnes). According to Calum MacDonald in International Record Review "they dispatch this varied programme with panache and enthusiasm". [Listen]
Steven is much in demand as an accompanist to singers and instrumentalists in concerts, examinations, and auditions. He is recognised as one of the best accompanists in the region. He has worked regularly over many years as an official accompanist at Bristol University and the Bristol Music Festival, and also as choral repetiteur with the Bristol Choral Society [BCS]. Between 2001 and 2014 he was accompanist to the BBC National Chorus of Wales.
Performances with vocal soloists have covered a great variety of repertoire, including Britten's Cabaret Songs, Dvorak's Gipsy Songs, Messiaen's Poèmes pour Mi [Listen], Schumann's Dichterliebe and Frauenliebe und -Leben, and Vaughan Williams' Songs of Travel, as well as cycles by Debussy, Grieg, Holloway, Howells, Martinu, Poulenc, Ravel and Tippett.