Delores Stevens died on March 7. She was 94.

Delores studied piano with the noted Bach authority Jan Chiapusso at the University of Kansas and upon graduation took a position teaching piano at the Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii. She met her husband James there and moved with him to Pacific Palisades, Calif. where they lived for the past 72 years.

She continued to study privately at the Music Academy of the West with Ernst von Dohnányi and Joanna Graudan, and achieved early success by winning the coveted Coleman Chamber Music Competition in Pasadena California.

Over her life Delores has been recognized as a leading soloist, chamber musician and music educator across the United States and toured throughout the world to Argentina, Australia, the Czech Republic, Japan, China, Spain, England and Scandinavia as a soloist and as part of the famed Montagnana Trio with cellist Caroline Worthington and clarinetist John Gates. With the Montagnana Trio she recorded 28 pieces of commissioned music including pieces by Daniel Lentz, Barney Childs, Per Norgård, and played a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York.

As a soloist she gave premieres of Poul Ruders’ Sonata No. 2, Arne Nordheim’s Listen and Per Norgård’s Turn. In Los Angeles, she performed regularly on the LA Philharmonic/Green Umbrella Series, the Ojai Festival, Monday Evening Concerts, Chamber Music in Historic Sites, the Coleman Chamber Concerts, and the Athenaeum Chamber Concerts, among others.

Her consistent support of contemporary composers, including numerous commissions for the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society and Chamber Music Palisades led to a prestigious award from the National Association of Composers, the Presidential Award of Merit from the International Music Fraternity of Mu Phi Epsilon, and the Living Legends Award from the Young Musicians Foundation presented to her by the legendary composer John Williams.

She served six terms as director and a trustee of the Recording Academy (the Grammys) and was a founder of Grammys in the Schools.

She recorded for over 15 labels including Orion, Laurel, Delos, Grenadilla and Musical Heritage Records from Hindemith to Mozart, her solo piano CD recording Pilgrimage on the Dominguez Digital label, and a DVD 5.1 Surround Sound recording of the Shostakovich Piano Quintet for AIX Records.

The celebration of her 90th birthday in 2020 included letters of congratulations and appreciation from California governor Gavin Newsom, then senator Kamala Harris, the late-senator Dianne Feinstein, representative Ted Lieu, former Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, and members of the California State Senate and Assembly, as well as from The Recording Academy and the Disney Channel.

She co-founded the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society in 1971 with Caroline Worthington and continued as the sole artistic director from 2002 until 2019, performing four concerts every summer. The list of musicians from all over the country and the world who played on the series over the years is enormous, and in addition to bringing these stellar players to the Island, she also commissioned new works to be premiered as part of the series. The composers who created works premiered on the Island include Ned Rorem, Gunther Schuller, Morton Subotnick, Gernot Wolfgang, Paul Chihara and Billy Childs.

In 1986 she helped start an after-school strings program which has continued to expand into the Island schools system including two scholarship funds: one for private lessons for students and another to honor the outstanding musician of the high school graduating class. This program has remained an important contribution to music education and the future of music for over 34 years. It continues to this day. In addition to co-founding and serving as artistic director for the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society for 48 years, she was co-founder and co-artistic director of Chamber Music Palisades with flutist Susan Greenberg in Los Angeles for 23 years. She taught young classical artists for over 30 years in her role as director of chamber music for the Young Musicians Foundation in Los Angeles, 29 years as head of piano studies at CSU-Dominguez Hills, chair of piano performance at California Institute of the Arts, 33 years as head of piano studies at Mount St. Mary’s University, and in 1988 she was awarded a six-year touring solo artist grant from the California Arts Council.

Delores is survived by her husband of 72 years, James Stevens, daughter Victoria Stevens, son Paul Stevens, daughter-in-law Annie Stevens and grandchildren Hannah and Mark Stevens.

Donations in her honor may be made to the to the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society at