More than anything else, his music is a function of his life experiences and personal passions. Born into a musical family, Stephen was brought up on piano lessons and turning pages at his parents‘ organ and harpsichord recitals. He sang in his mother‘s church choirs and was surrounded at home by his father‘s Vassar College choir gatherings. He taught himself to play guitar and joined or formed bluegrass, folk, jazz, and rock groups for which he also wrote music. In his bands he played lead and rhythm guitars, drums, flute, mandolin, harmonica, saxophone, ‘cello, keyboards and bass.
He studied classical guitar with Alexander Bellow, Frederick Hand, Alice Artzt, David Russell and John Mills (England), Jose Tomas (Spain) and Oscar Ghiglia (Italy). He attended Middlebury College and graduated from Vassar College with a double major in philosophy and music. He received his Master's Degree in performance and composition from Hunter College in New York City winning the Dr. Benno E. Lee award “for outstanding excellence.”
He attended the Aspen Music School, and as the recipient of a Maguire Fellowship spent 2 years studying in Europe where he also attended the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. He studied composition with Robert Middleton, Richard Wilson. Lenox Berkeley, and Annea Lockwood. He won the Mohonk Music Fund Award and took top prize at the International Guitar Competition of Puerto Rico.
He taught guitar at Bard College and was appointed ‘Artist in Residence’ in North Carolina and New York. He has concertized in the US and Europe performing traditional repertoire on lute and guitar as well as his own original compositions and appeared frequently on radio and tv.
Funk Pearson compositions are published by Guitar Solo Publications, Theodore Presser and Doberman/Yppan and are recorded and performed widely. They can be heard on CD's by artists from England, France, Germany, Canada, Finland, China, etc. Premieres of his music have taken place at major venues throughout the world including: The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center (New York), Carnegie Recital Hall (New York), and Queen Elizabeth Hall (London).