Known for his soulful renditions of East European Jewish music (klezmer) and passionate performances of East European Gypsy music all combined with virtuoso flair and technical precision Steven is a multi-talented musician well-versed in a multitude of musical styles and genres. Whether performing klezmer music in European concert halls, giving master classes of East European Jewish violin style and technique, performing lavish Gypsy violin showpieces with orchestras and ensembles or playing for Jewish, Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian, Ukrainian balls and weddings Steven is at home displaying his love of East European Jewish and Gypsy music.
Steven is recognized internationally as one of the finest practitioners, composers and teachers of traditional East European Jewish klezmer violin music in the world today. He has self-produced two landmark recordings documenting his original Jewish and klezmer compositions with Stempenyu’s Dream (2004) and Stempenyu’s Neshome (2010), the latter containing his original Jewish spiritual melodies. Steven is one of the first American born klezmer violinists to create a program and performance style based entirely on the repertoire of European klezmer violin music and co-founded the Khevrisa ensemble with cimbalist and historian Walter Zev Feldman in 1998. Steven has performed internationally with notable klezmer ensembles Stempenyu’s Dream, Khevrisa, the Joel Rubin Jewish Music Ensemble, the Klezmatics, Budowitz, the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, Kapelye, Di Tsvey (The Greenman/Rushefsky duo) and the Steven Greenman Klezmer Ensemble.
Steven is in demand as a scholar-in-residence and teaching artist at international Yiddish folk arts festivals, universities and schools. He has taught klezmer violin and led masterclasses at KlezKanada, Living Traditions’ KlezKamp, Yiddish Summer Weimar, Internationales Klezmer Festival Fuerth and KlezFest London. Steven was the first recipient of the Louis E. Emsheimer Memorial Artist in Residence Program in Cleveland, OH (2002) for which he led klezmer workshops for classical string players and lectured on klezmer music. Working with educators Mitchell Korn, Amy McClellan and Lisa Judge of the Cleveland Orchestra educational department's "Learning Through Music" program Steven has been a "teaching artist" since 2001 and has developed several children's programs combining storytelling and klezmer music. Steven has enriched the lives of Cleveland’s students by teaching klezmer music at B'nai Jeshurun Synagogue, Park Synagogue, The Temple-Tifereth Israel and the Western Reserve Suzuki School.
In addition to his involvement with klezmer music Steven is known for his passionate performances of East European Gypsy music. He is an accomplished performer of urban Gypsy violin styles, in particular, Hungarian nota, Romanian lautari and Slovak folk music and has devoted his life to the study of East European violin style and ornamentation. A performer with the Harmonia ensemble, Steven's intense study of East European folk music has brought him into contact with professional Gypsy and folk musicians from Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Ukraine. In addition to performances with Harmonia, Steven has been a regular guest soloist with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra performing his own arrangements of traditional East European Gypsy violin music in Cleveland's prestigious Severance Hall. Steven has also performed these showpieces with the Canton and Akron Symphony Orchestras.
Steven received his Bachelor of Music (1989) and Master of Music (1991) degrees in Violin Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Linda Sharon Cerone, Dr. Eugene Gratovich and the late Bernhard Goldschmidt. His classical studies have continued with Montreal’s renowned pedagogue Yaela Hertz. He has performed with the Canton and Akron Symphony Orchestras and has participated in the National Repertory Orchestra, the National Orchestral Institute and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.
Steven is lead performer, composer and producer of the recordings Stempenyu's Dream and Stempenyu’s Neshome. He is co-producer and is featured on Khevrisa-European Klezmer Music on the Smithsonian Folkways label. Steven has also recorded with Budowitz, the Klezmatics, violinist Alicia Svigals, the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, Rabbi Neil Blumofe, guitarist Jesse Cook, Yiddishe Cup and vocalists Lori-Cahan Simon and Ludmila Sorin. Steven's compositions are also featured on various modern klezmer music compilations.