Dr. Stephen Fiess, a native of Stratford, Ontario, Canada, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the University of Western Ontario; a Master’s degree in Piano Performance from Indiana University; and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance, Pedagogy and Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He also holds an Associate certificate in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, and is Nationally Certified by the Music Teachers National Association and the National Guild of Piano Teachers. He also holds an Associate Certificate in organ from the American Guild of Organists. His teachers include Josephine Parrott, Dr. Damiana Bratuz, John Ogdon, Dr. Henry Upper, Dr. Keith Wallingford, and Robert Spillman. Dr. Fiess was a prize winner in the Krenek Division of the 1989 Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition. Dr. Fiess has composed ballets that have been performed in Colorado; and a ballet that was performed at the International Dance Festival of Havana, Cuba. He has composed several published piano solos and duets, including Northern Wilderness Suite and Lorelei Suite, published by Waterloo Music. Dr. Fiess has also composed church music; including a setting of the Lutheran liturgy, and three sets of variations on Christmas carols for organ, published by Morningstar Music. He has recently released a CD of his solo piano works, entitled White Reindeer. His interest in Prokofiev's piano music led to a doctoral dissertation on that subject, and subsequently a book, The Piano Works of Serge Prokofiev, published in 1994 by Scarecrow Press. Dr. Fiess was the lecturer for the 2009 Denver Area Music Teachers Association (DAMTA) Fall Course, on the subject of Piano Music in the Romantic Era. Dr. Fiess is currently teaches piano privately in Cary, a suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina.
I have been working with Dr. Steve Fiess of High Range Piano for the last 10 months as an adult piano student, and I have been extremely satisfied with his instruction. I have been making great progress, and I’ve been improving faster than I have in the past with other teachers. Overall, Steve is a quiet, calm, all-around kind person. He is always encouraging, even when offering constructive criticism of my playing. I always look forward to my next lesson. After each lesson, I leave feeling good about my playing, and also like I received good feedback, so I know where I need to improve. Steve has been great at helping me select songs to play. As we move on to new pieces, the next one is always just the right difficulty--challenging enough to help me progress but always within reach with a little bit of work. He’s also always open to me bringing in pieces that I want to work on. I usually bring a few in, and he helps me decide which piece will be the best fit for my current skills. Steve’s depth and breadth of piano knowledge is also impressive. I often ask him questions about why a particular piece is written a particular way or some other detail about a piece. He always has a thorough answer that covers the relevant areas of music history, theory, and practice. I’ve never met another piano teacher who is so knowledgeable about the piano and piano music. It really helps to give some context to the music I’m playing and helps me understand it better. Overall, I’ve been very pleased, and I would not hesitate to recommend High Range Piano to anyone looking for a piano teacher.