Stephen Savage received a Bachelor of Music with Honors in Composition and a Master of Music in Composition from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Malcolm Peyton and Donald Martino. While an undergraduate, he studied piano with Robert Sherwood and Katja Andy, and while completing graduate studies, he studied piano and improvisation privately with Charles Banacos.
Savage was a faculty member at Berklee College of Music for five years, where he taught theory, counterpoint, figured bass, composition, and piano. Since 1980 he has been a theory instructor at the Preparatory School at the New England Conservatory, and he also teaches a composition class at the Conservatory's School of Continuing Education. He was a founding member of Indian Hill Arts (now Indian Hill Music Center), teaching on the piano faculty and serving as Assistant Director of the Music School for several years.
Savage has performed as a recitalist, a choral accompanist, an orchestral pianist, a cocktail pianist, a keyboardist for a rock band, and as a pianist in an improvisational opera ensemble.
His commissioned works and awards for composition include the following: Eternal Return, commissioned in 1978 by the Mystic Valley Chamber Orchestra, performed at First and Second Church in Boston with Charles Ellis conducting; The Pines, commissioned in 1984 by the Groton Center for the Arts, performed by the New Works Orchestra at the Groton School Chapel with Harry Chalmiers conducting; Fanfare and Fantasy on Music of Sergei Prokofiev, commissioned by the Symphony Pro Musica in 1986, performed at Assabet Valley Regional High School, Marlborough, MA, and City Hall Auditorium, Leominster, MA, with Mark Churchill conducting; Suite for Violin and Guitar, winner of the New Works competition for composers in 1983, sponsored by Groton Center for the Arts, performed at Groton School chapel (1983) and Jordan Hall, Boston (1991); and Fanflutasy, commissioned by the Indian Hill Arts Flute Choir, performed in Harvard, MA (1992) and Brown Hall, Boston (1995).
Stephen Peisch received his undergraduate and graduate degrees with honors from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied theory and composition with Robert Cogan. For many years, Peisch directed the Preparatory Theory Program at the New England Conservatory. He is the chair of the arts department and director of the music program at Lawrence Academy, where he teaches theory and composition.
Peisch has written in a wide variety of musical styles, including folk, blues, country, rock, and contemporary classical. He currently performs with a rhythm ‘n’ blues trio (Blue Box Set), has performed extensively as a singer/songwriter, and has appeared as a guest artist with the avant-garde rock band, Magonia.
Peisch was commissioned to compose an orchestral piece for the Symphony Pro Music; he received a Horace Mann grant to compose an original musical for the Groton Public Schools; he has written many songs for children’s theatre productions; his piano music was performed twice on the Enchanted Circle concert series at the New England Conservatory of Music; and he received funding from the Massachussetts Cultural Council to present three different recitals of his music in the towns of Groton and Harvard. Most recently, he received an Alfred Nash Patterson grant to compose choral music for the Westford Chorus.
Peisch’s settings of texts by Langston Hughes were performed in the 2002-2003 season at both the New England Conservatory Preparatory School Contemporary Music Festival and the Rivers Music School Contemporary Music Festival. Peisch’s Suite for Piano was performed by David Pihl in October, 2004, on the Northern Essex Community College Chamber Music Series; his Suite for Solo Flute was performed by Michael Finegold on the same series in November, 2005. Peisch recently released a recording of his song settings of Langston Hughes texts, featuring Charlotte Russell, soprano, and David Pihl, piano. In April, 2007, Peisch’s Three Poems for Chorus were performed by the Westford Chorus.