Stefan Kutrzeba (born May 4, 1946) is a Polish classical pianist and pedagogue specialized in the piano methods of Frédéric Chopin and Heinrich Neuhaus. He is the first person after Neuhaus to discover and introduce in such a large extent the practical use of Chopin’s inscriptions found in the Chopin’s own Sketches to the method of the piano playing. Kutrzeba is the father of his pianist son Franciszek Kutrzeba, and Jan Kutrzeba, a New York based actor.
Kutrzeba was born in Kielce, Poland. His first piano teachers were Jacek Jaronski and Anna Stefanska, a student of the legendary piano master Aleksander Michałowski. Kutrzeba studied at the University of Music in Katowice under Stefania Allinowna, Maria Smyczynska and Jozef Stompel. He also received classes from Karol Szafranek and attained Tatiana Nikolaewa’s master course in Weimar (Germany).
In 1973 Kutrzeba acquired closer insight to the Russian piano school when studying at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory thanks to the half-year long scholarship given by the Polish Ministry of Culture and Arts. Within 1969-1999 he was actively present in the Polish and European concert life as the soloist and member of many chamber ensembles.
During the years 1981-1988 Kutrzeba was the director of the Music School in Kielce and from 1988 up to 2011 he was living and working in Finland as the lecturer of the piano at Ylä-Satakunnan College of Music. Actually he works again in the State College of Music in Kielce/Poland
Since 1995 Kutrzeba has been actively developing his own piano teaching method based on the Chopin's method. His approach to the piano is the continuation of the Heinrich Neuhaus' idea, according to which "any improvement of the [piano] technique must mean - an improvement of the artistic idea". Kutrzeba is the author of numerous articles regarding Chopin's method published in print in Poland, Germany and Slovakia. Furthermore, his websites constitute at the moment the largest source to the Chopin’s piano teaching method as a whole, with a substantial emphasis on the virtual basis of interpretation and the possibilities of implementation of this method in practice.
Kutrzeba has been lecturing in various countries, mostly in Europe, and teaching continuously at international piano master classes since 1999. Since 2002 he has been annually organizing international master classes in Poland (2002-2007 in Olsztyn, since 2008 in Rzeszow, Poland). Numerous young pianists from around the world (USA, Japan, Kuwait, Syria, Italy, Germany, Philippines, Singapore, Finland, Poland etc.), including the laureates of international piano competitions for the youth, are participating in the master classes given by Stefan Kutrzeba.
- Stefan Kutrzeba (2007-02-15). "1". Pianoeu.com. Retrieved 2010-10-08.
- Dybowski Stanisław: Kutrzeba Stefan. W: Słownik pianistów polskich. Selene, Przedsiębiorstwo Muzyczne, Warszawa 2003.