Stephen Coombs is one of Britain's best known pianists and currently works with some of the world's foremost orchestras and conductors, as well as performing as a solo artist. Coombs was born in Birkenhead, Merseyside on July 11, 1960. He first became prominent in music at the age of thirteen, when he scooped second prize in the English National Piano Competition. Coombs first studied under Joan Slade privately, then Heather Slade-Lipkin at first privately and then at the Royal Northern College of Music (under 19s section). Finally, he studied with Gordon Green at the Royal Academy of Music.