The Washington Post
Review of the American Liszt Society National Festival. 5/2008
"At the same time, there was already plenty to listen to -- and watch -- during a performance Saturday at Catholic University's Hartke Theatre of the composer's transcription of Schubert's "Erlkoenig." Anything added to Steven Spooner's dazzling, blurry-handed sweeps of the entire piano would have been dizzying."
The Breslau News
"The competition (The International Liszt Competition) on Thursday afternoon was ruled by the very professional, serious, and beautiful performance of Steven Spooner from the U.S.A. His playing was thought through to the finest detail from the beginning to its perfect conclusion. His Transcendental Etudes, Wilde Jagd and Harmonies du Soir were virtuosic and emotionally stirring. The Schubert Serenade in Liszt's transcription was both lyrical and clearly conceived."
Review of Hilton Head International Piano Competition winner's recital. 10/25/1996
"American Steven Spooner had everything: polished technique, musical intelligence, innate sensitivity, and a personality that reaches across the keyboard. Spooner's Scarlatti (Dominico, Sonatas K. 213 and 184) were perfectly sketched pieces of understatement highlighting the 26-year-old's clarity, sensitivity and simplicity of statement. But Spooner has plenty of what Maestro Claudio Abbado calls the Big Utterance. Spooner used pedal technique rather than force to coax immense sound, achieving dense volume from the middle voice, and a growling resonance in the low voice. Accuracy was commendable throughout."
The Herald Times
Review of all Liszt concert. 11/13/2002
"Spooner, victor in the Liszt Competition in Russia, took on music of what was referred to as the 'virtuoso Liszt,' music of the composer as a young man...There were flourishes galore and chordal clusters and runs and resounding climaxes...One heard phenomenally agile pianism along with temperamentally sensitive musicianship."
The Herald Times
Review of duo concert with violinist Leor Maltinski. 8/6/2002
"Following a break, Maltinski turned to Beethoven and Franck. The Beethoven A Minor Sonata for Violin and Piano, Opus 23, brought forth an appropriate energy mixed with reserve. From both the violinist and pianist Steven Spooner one heard a warmth of touch and temperament that gave the sonata just the right adornment. Here was well-executed Beethoven." "The Franck Sonata in A Major sounded just as embracing Sunday as it did Friday. What a delicious musical confection it is, and what a test for both instrumentalists. Maltinski's interpretation was a winning one, generous in floating tones as well as flaming passage work, where called for. In total, his reading - beautifully complemented by Spooner - left a dreamy impression, almost other worldly in nature."
Carolina Morning News
Review of Hilton Head International Piano Competition winner's recital. 10/1996
"Louisiana-born Steven Spooner, 26, rounded out the program with enchanting interpretations of two Sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti--some of the most interesting pianistic characterizations of these harpsichord compositions one is apt to encounter... enchanting."
Concert pianist, Sony recording artist, composer, Associate Prof. Indiana University
"It is an honor and almost a duty for me to be able to fully recommend Steven Spooner. He is among more than the top 1% of his generation as an auspicious pianist, musician, scholar. His stage presence is striking, his ear and his fingers have an amazing complicity. He has the enlighted touch of a Lipatti, the power of a Richter, both mental and physical, the articulation of Michelangeli...he becomes 'one' with the instrument, carving the sounds into meaningful rests as well. He is an inspiration to all of us around him."
Concert pianist, Professor, Moscow Conservatory, from letter of recommendation, 2002.
"His performance possesses the deep understanding of the contents of Liszt's works, organic and instinctive feeling of form and outstanding virtuosity. His programs for the first and second rounds of the competition were very demanding, requiring not only technical perfection but the ability to create colorful artistic images. The crystal-clear enunciation of each tone and the feeling of phrasal climaxes and structure are also worth mentioning. All of the above made Mr. Spooner's playing very memorable. His pianistic art must attract more attention from concert organizers around the world."