Recorder player Maurice Steger ranks as one of the great virtuosi on his instrument among figures on the contemporary scene. His range of activities has been unusually wide, encompassing both unusual repertoire and projects such as children's music. He has also been active as a conductor.
Steger was born in Winterthur, Switzerland, in 1971. Pedro Memelsdorff and Kees Boeke were among his recorder teachers, and he studied conducting with Marcus Creed. Steger made a splash with a Karajan Prize in 2002 and began to find soloist bookings with the top Baroque ensembles in Europe, including the Akademie für alte Musik Berlin, the Accademia Bizantina, and Musica Antiqua Köln. Steger also appeared with modern ensembles, such as the English Chamber Orchestra and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. Steger's list of prestigious collaborators is long and includes vocalists Thomas Quasthoff, Dorothea Röschmann, and Cecilia Bartoli, as well as violinist Hilary Hahn. His accompanists in his numerous solo recitals include Naoki Kitaya and the Continuo Consort, Markus Märkl, and Alexander Weimann. Steger's conducting activities in the 2010s increasingly ranged beyond the Baroque and have involved ensembles with no emphasis on Baroque music. Among these ensembles were the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Radiophilharmonie in Hannover, and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.
His solo discography is large and has mostly involved the Claves label (1994-2003), and after that Harmonia Mundi. In 2019, he released Mr Handel's Dinner: Music for the Opera Intermissions on Harmonia Mundi. Many of his projects aimed to reproduce a specific musical venue or juncture rather than simply covering repertory for its own sake.
Steger has also created a project centered on a figure called Tino Flautino, a set of recorder-oriented fairytales for children, that has been marketed with books and accompanying materials allowing children to play along with what they hear.
© James Manheim /TiVo