Gary Steigerwalt has received acclaim as an eclectic artist performing contemporary as well as standard piano repertoire. A recent review in the Boston Globedescribed his playing as "spontaneous . . . and capable of imparting the best-known chestnuts in the literature as though they were new."
He has appeared as soloist with the National Symphony at Wolf Trap, playing Aaron Copland'sPiano Concerto under the composer's direction. Other orchestral appearances include the New York Chamber Symphony under Gerard Schwarz, the Hungarian State Symphony (Budapest), and the Seattle Symphony. In February 1999, he was soloist in the world premiere of British novelist/composer Anthony Burgess's Concerto for Pianoforte and Orchestra in E-flat with the Pioneer Valley Symphony under Paul Phillips. He has given solo recitals at Merkin Concert Hall, the 92nd Street Y, and Weill Recital Hall in New York; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Wigmore Hall, London; and the Liszt Academy, Budapest. His New York debut took place in 1974 when he received the Concert Artists Guild's Madeleine Malraux Award. Many subsequent recitals were sponsored by the Pro Musicus Foundation.
Steigerwalt became the first American prizewinner of the Liszt-Bartók International Piano Competition in Budapest in 1976 when he took both second prize and the medal for best performance of a work by Béla Bartók. He is also a laureate of the Leeds, Sydney, and University of Maryland international competitions and first-prize winner of the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artists Awards, the Artists Advisory Council of Chicago Auditions, and the Frinna Awerbuch International Competition.
Often Steigerwalt performs in four-hand and duo-piano recitals with his wife, pianist Dana Muller. Together they have recorded four-hand works by Franz Schubert (a portion of which is heard on the soundtrack of the motion picture Good Will Hunting), works by three late nineteenth-century Romantic composers, and works by a number of early twentieth-century European composers for Centaur Records.
In addition to teaching and performing, Steigerwalt is working on a biography of the Scottish American pianist and composer Helen Hopekirk (1856–1945).