Leigh Howard Stevens

Leigh Howard Stevens’ repertoire ranges from Renaissance music and the Preludes and Fugues of J. S. Bach, to original marimba works written by contemporary composers expressly for him. Many of these original compositions were considered too challenging, both technically and musically, to be performed by solo marimbists until the development of Mr. Stevens’ new system of four-mallet technique. Percussionists and marimbists, the world over, have adopted his revolutionary approach to 4-mallet technique, as set forth in his ground-breaking book, Method of Movement, which has been published in six languages.

There isn’t a single aspect of marimba technique, repertoire or design that has not been profoundly influenced by the work of Leigh Howard Stevens. From “Stevens Grip” to the types of motions used to play the instrument; from the length and material of the mallet handles to the wrapping and stitching of the heads; from the first height-adjustable all wooden marimba frame in the 1980s to the first fully-tunable resonators in the 1990s; from one-handed rolls and baroque ornaments to the use of expressive contrasting roll types; from the early polyphonic Helble Preludes to the works of John Serry, David Maslanka and Joseph Schwantner, to his own original compositions and transcriptions.

Considered “revolutionary” at the time, many of his ideas are now considered to be basic technique, and in fact, have become routine in contemporary marimba compositions and performance.  It is no exaggeration to say that Leigh Howard Stevens has been at the very heart of the growth of marimba repertoire, development of its pedagogy, and improvement of the instrument’s design over the last 45 years.

This fresh approach to music making on the marimba has greatly expanded the instrument’s compositional possibilities, stimulated composer enthusiasm for the marimba’s use in solo and chamber music and ultimately led to a series of more than 30 world premiere performances by Mr. Stevens. The first performance of Raymond Helble’s Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra by Leigh Howard Stevens and the Denver Symphony in 1980 was a milestone in the development of marimba literature. His digitally recorded all-Bach album has been greeted with rave reviews for its artistry by magazines as diverse as Stereophile and Billboard.

Devoted marimba lovers have sprung up all over the world – both players and the general public – converted by Leigh Howard Stevens’ solo recitals, hundreds of college campus appearances, concertos with symphony orchestra, European concert tours, masterclasses and radio and television appearances both here and abroad. He has been featured in Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and appeared on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and Voice of America’s internationally broadcast, New York, New York. His celebrated musicianship, imaginative programming and exciting performances have inspired critical acclaim and standing ovations in 48 states in the USA and in 18 foreign countries. Mr. Stevens introduced the marimba to The People’s Republic of China in a televised performance in 1994 that reportedly reached an audience of 80 million viewers.

Mr. Stevens is the founder and chief creative force behind Malletech, the world leader in design and manufacturing of keyboard percussion instruments used by professional percussionists.  He has been awarded nine U.S. Patents for musical instrument design.  In addition to performing on a 5-octave Malletech Marimba of his own design, he also led the creative team that developed the company’s game-changing OmegaVibe and LoveVibe.  Mr. Stevens taught for many years at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England, where he was Professor of Marimba. He was elected to the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 2006.

Mr. Stevens can be heard on past releases of the Delos, Musical Heritage Society, Musicmasters and CRI record labels, as well as current releases on Resonator Records.

From Leigh Howard Stevens

Adventures of Ivan (Khachaturian/arr. Leigh Howard Stevens)

$14.00$17.00

A charming set of six intermediate level works. The musical style is unique in the marimba repertoire: Soviet influenced pictorialism with an Armenian flavored chromaticism.

A charming set of six intermediate level works. The musical style is unique in the marimba repertoire: Soviet influenced pictorialism with an Armenian flavored chromaticism.

Album for the Young (Tchaikovsky/arr. Leigh Howard Stevens)

$17.00$20.00

(New expanded 12-movement edition) A delightful set of programmatic works that achieved standard repertoire status almost instantly when it was first transcribed 25 years ago.

(New expanded 12-movement edition) A delightful set of programmatic works that achieved standard repertoire status almost instantly when it was first transcribed 25 years ago.

Album for the Young I (Schumann/arr. Leigh Howard Stevens)

$11.00$13.00

Marimba music doesn’t get much heavier than the second half of this set. Even the light and simple movements such as Soldier’s March and Wild Rider have a certain Germanic seriousness.

Marimba music doesn’t get much heavier than the second half of this set. Even the light and simple movements such as Soldier’s March and Wild Rider have a certain Germanic seriousness.

Album for the Young II (Schumann/arr. Leigh Howard Stevens)

$11.00$13.00

Marimba music doesn’t get much heavier than the second half of this set. Even the light and simple movements such as Soldier’s March and Wild Rider have a certain Germanic seriousness.

Marimba music doesn’t get much heavier than the second half of this set. Even the light and simple movements such as Soldier’s March and Wild Rider have a certain Germanic seriousness.

Asturias (Albeniz/arr. Leigh Howard Stevens)

$11.00$13.00

This familiar work of Spanish composer Isaac Albeniz is best known to concert audiences in its guitar transcription. Rather than base his transcription on one of the many guitar editions, Stevens went back to the original piano work which appears in Cantos de Espana Op. 232.

This familiar work of Spanish composer Isaac Albeniz is best known to concert audiences in its guitar transcription. Rather than base his transcription on one of the many guitar editions, Stevens went back to the original piano work which appears in Cantos de Espana Op. 232.

Bach on Marimba (Recording)

$10.00$12.00

The music of J.S. Bach, transcribed and performed by Leigh Howard Stevens. “This remarkably faithful transcription takes us …to a renewed appreciation for the universality of Bach’s music.” –Digital Audio Magazine

The music of J.S. Bach, transcribed and performed by Leigh Howard Stevens. “This remarkably faithful transcription takes us …to a renewed appreciation for the universality of Bach’s music.” –Digital Audio Magazine

Children’s Corner (Debussy/arr. Leigh Howard Stevens)

$17.00$20.00

Although the marimba’s tone is colorful and evocative, there has been a long standing lack of serious transcriptions of impressionistic music. This faithful transcription will fill that niche and surely become a standard repertoire item.

Although the marimba’s tone is colorful and evocative, there has been a long standing lack of serious transcriptions of impressionistic music. This faithful transcription will fill that niche and surely become a standard repertoire item.

Great Wall

$14.00$17.00

This piece is a 6 minute wall of sound coming from the marimba – all apparently sounding like rolls, but many patterns are really “quasi-rolls” or repeated figurations that sustain the sound of the marimba with a rhythmic drive.

This piece is a 6 minute wall of sound coming from the marimba – all apparently sounding like rolls, but many patterns are really “quasi-rolls” or repeated figurations that sustain the sound of the marimba with a rhythmic drive.

Marimba When… CD

$12.00

Marimba When (Leigh Howard Stevens plays the great Albums for the Young)

“Any feeling that this is repertoire intended for other media is quickly dispelled by the sheer musicality of the playing.”

Marimba When (Leigh Howard Stevens plays the great Albums for the Young)

“Any feeling that this is repertoire intended for other media is quickly dispelled by the sheer musicality of the playing.”

Marimba When…: Complete Collection

$65.00

The Great Albums for the Young: music of Debussy, Tschaikowsky Schumann and Khatchaturian transcribed by L. H. Stevens. All of the music featured on Leigh Howard Stevens’ second album is published by KPP.

The Great Albums for the Young: music of Debussy, Tschaikowsky Schumann and Khatchaturian transcribed by L. H. Stevens. All of the music featured on Leigh Howard Stevens’ second album is published by KPP.

Method of Movement

$35.00

The most detailed text ever written on the subject of four mallet playing. 15 chapters covering grip, strokes, shifts, tone production, interval changes, efficient movement around the instrument.

The most detailed text ever written on the subject of four mallet playing. 15 chapters covering grip, strokes, shifts, tone production, interval changes, efficient movement around the instrument.

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