Stephen Kovacevich was born in San Pedro, CA. in 1940 to a Croatian father and an American mother. He relocated to the Bay Area at the age of 6 and made his public debut at the age of 11. He initially performed as Stephen Bishop and, later, as Stephen Bishop-Kovacevich. In 1993, he dropped the "Bishop" and proceeded to go by Stephen Kovacevich. In 1959, Kovacevich moved to London and began training under Dame Myra Hess. He made his London debut at Wigmore Hall in 1961. He continues to perform and record actively.