In 1985, Stephen Drury was chosen by Affiliate Artists for its Xerox Pianists Program, perforing in residencies with symphony orchestras in San Diego, Cedar Rapids, San Angelo, Spokane, and Stamford. He has since performed or recorded with the American Composers Orchestra, the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Boston Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the Springfield (Massachusetts) and Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestras, and the Romanian National Symphony. Drury was a prize-winner in the Carnegie Hall/Rockefeller Foundation Competitions in American Music, and was selected by the United States Information Agency for its Artistic Ambassador Program and a 1986 European recital tour. A second tour in the fall of 1988 took him to Pakistan, Hong Kong, and Japan. He gave the first piano recitals ever in Julianehaab, Greenland, and Quetta, Pakistan. In 1989, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Drury a Solo Recitalist Fellowship which funded residencies and recitals of American music for two years. The same year he was named “Musician of the Year” by the Boston Globe.
Stephen Drury's performances of music written in the last hundred years, ranging from the piano sonatas of Charles Ives to works by György Ligeti, Frederic Rzewski and John Cage have received the highest critical acclaim. Drury has worked closely with many of the leading composers of our time, including Cage, Ligeti, Rzewski, Steve Reich, Olivier Messiaen, John Zorn, Luciano Berio, Helmut Lachenmann, Christian Wolff, Jonathan Harvey, Michael Finnissy, Lee Hyla and John Luther Adams. Drury has appeared at the MusikTriennale Köln in Germany, the Subtropics Festival in Miami, and the North American New Music Festival in Buffalo as well as at Roulette, the Knitting Factory, Tonic, and The Stone in New York. At Spoleto USA, the Angelica Festival in Bologna, and Oberlin Conservatory, he performed as both conductor and pianist. Drury has conducted the Britten Sinfonia in England, the Santa Cruz New Music Works Ensemble, and the Harvard Group for New Music.
Drury has commissioned new works for solo piano from John Cage, John Zorn, John Luther Adams, Terry Riley, and Chinary Ung with funding provided by Meet The Composer. He has performed with Zorn in Paris, Vienna, London, Brussels, and New York, and conducted Zorn's music in Bologna, Boston, Chicago, and in the UK and Costa Rica. In March of 1995, he gave the first performance of Zorn's concerto for piano and orchestra Aporias with Dennis Russell Davies and the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra. Later that same season, he gave the premiere of Basic Training for solo piano, written for him by Lee Hyla. Drury has recorded the music of John Cage, Elliott Carter, Charles Ives, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Colin McPhee, John Zorn, John Luther Adams and Frederic Rzewski, as well as works of Liszt and Beethoven, for Mode, New Albion, Catalyst, Tzadik, Avant, MusicMasters, Cold Blue, New World, and Neuma.
Stephen Drury has given masterclasses at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Mannes Beethoven Institute, and Oberlin Conservatory, in Japan, Romania, Argentina, Costa Rica, Denmark, and throughout the United States. He has also served on juries for the Concert Artist Guild, Gaudeamus and Orléans Concours International de Piano XXème Siècle Competitions. Drury is artistic director and conductor of the Callithumpian Consort, and he created and directs the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice at New England Conservatory. Drury earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard College, and has also earned the New England Conservatory's select Artist Diploma. His teachers have included Claudio Arrau, Patricia Zander, William Masselos, Margaret Ott, and also Theodore Lettvin, and Donald Thulean for conducting. Drury teaches at New England Conservatory, where he has directed festivals of the music of John Cage, Steve Reich, and (in 2010) Christian Wolff.