Stephen Custer, cellist, began piano studies at age seven and the cello at age nine. While in high school he soloed with the Boston Pops and Greater Boston Youth Orchestra. Four years at Juilliard followed, with Leonard Rose and Maurice Eisenberg being his main cello teachers. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in cello performance at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., while a member of the U.S. Air Force Band Strings. In September 1971, he became Principal cellist of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra as well as cellist in the Symphony’s Cazenovia String Quartet. While in Syracuse, Mr. Custer was soloist with the Symphony in Don Quixote by Strauss as well as Variations on a Theme Roccoco.
In 1974 Stephen joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic cello section with whom he has performed with music directors Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Giulini, Andre Previn and Esa Pekka Salonen as well as numerous guest conductors at the Hollywood Bowl, LA Music Center and around the world. He played frequently with the Westlake Chamber Ensemble, Amici Musicae Ensemble, the Philharmonic's Chamber Music Society and New Music Group. Steve has also appeared in numerous recitals and solo concertos in Southern California as well as in Massachusetts, Florida, Virginia, New York and Washington, D.C.
Dr. Custer is currently performing in various chamber music and orchestra groups. He recently played a difficult recital program twice in Williamsburg, VA. Included on the program was his Suite for Solo Cello, one of his four compositions written in the 1960s. .