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Portfolio Pianist: Participant Biographies

Pascal Rogé

Pascal Rogé exemplifies the finest in French pianism. Born in Paris, he was a student of the Paris Conservatory and was also mentored by Julius Katchen and the great Nadia Boulanger. Winner of Georges Enesco piano competition and 1st prize of Marguerite Long Piano competition, he became an exclusive Decca recording artist at the age of seventeen. His playing of Poulenc, Satie, Fauré, Saint-Saëns and especially Ravel, is characterized by its elegance, beauty and stylistically perfect phrasing.

Mr. Rogé has performed in almost every major concert hall in the world and with every major orchestra across the globe and has collaborated with the most distinguished conductors in history, including Lorin Maazel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Mariss Jansons, Charles Dutoit, Kurt Masur, Edo de Waart, Alan Gilbert, David Zinman, Marek Janowski, Sir Andrew Davis, Raymond Leppard and others.

One of the world’s most distinguished recording artists, Pascal Rogé has won many prestigious awards, including two Gramophone Awards, a Grand Prix du Disque and an Edison Award for his interpretations of the Ravel and Saint- Saens concerti along with the complete piano works of Ravel, Poulenc and Satie.

Several years ago, Mr. Rogé began a new and ambitious recording project for Onyx called the Rogé Edition. With the Vienna Radio Symphony under Bertrand de Billy, he has recently recorded two CDs of both of the Ravel Piano Concerti and the Gershwin Concerto in F and Rhapsody in Blue.

Recently, Pascal has enjoyed playing recitals for four-hands/two-pianos with his partner in life and in music Ami Rogé. Together, they have travelled the world appearing at prestigious festivals and concert halls and recorded several CDs dedicated to the French 2 piano and 4 hands repertoire. In 2011 they have given the premiere of a newly commissioned Concerto for Two Pianos by the composer Matthew Hindson with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Recently chairman of the Geneva Piano competition, Pascal Rogé is also dedicated to teaching and gives regular masterclasses in France, Japan, United States and United Kingdom.

 

Iain Burnside

Iain Burnside is a pianist who has appeared in recital with many of the world’s leading singers (“pretty much ideal” BBC Music Magazine). He is also an insightful programmer with an instinct for the telling juxtaposition. His recordings straddle an exuberantly eclectic repertoire ranging from Beethoven and Schubert to the cutting edge, as in the Gramophone Award-winning NMC Songbook. Recent recordings include the complete Rachmaninov songs (Delphian) with seven outstanding Russian artists (“the results are electrifying” Daily Telegraph). Burnside’s passion for English Song is reflected in acclaimed CDs of Britten, Finzi, Ireland, Butterworth and Vaughan Williams, many with baritone Roderick Williams.

Away from the piano Burnside is active as a writer and broadcaster. As presenter of BBC R3’s Voices he won a Sony Radio Award. For Guildhall School of Music & Drama Burnside has devised a number of singular theatre pieces. A Soldier and a Maker, based on the life of Ivor Gurney, was performed at the Barbican Centre and the Cheltenham Festival, and later broadcast by BBC R3 on Armistice Day. His new project Swansong has been premiered at the Kilkenny Festival and will play in Milton Court in November.

Future highlights include performances of the three Schubert songcycles with Roderick Williams at Wigmore Hall. A Delphian release of songs by Nikolai Medtner launches a major series of Russian Song in the 2018 Wigmore Hall season. Other forthcoming projects feature Ailish Tynan, Rosa Feola, Andrew Watts, Robin Tritschler and Benjamin Appl.

Iain Burnside is Artistic Director of the Ludlow English Song Weekend and Artistic Consultant to Grange Park Opera.

Roderick Williams OBE

Roderick Williams encompasses a wide repertoire, from baroque to contemporary music, in the opera house, on the concert platform and in recital. He won the Singer of the Year Award in the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards and was awarded the OBE for services to music in June 2017.

He enjoys relationships with all the major UK opera houses and is particularly associated with the baritone roles of Mozart. He has also sung world premieres of operas by, among others, David Sawer, Sally Beamish, Michael van der Aa and Robert Saxton.

Roderick Williams has sung concert repertoire with all the BBC orchestras, and many other ensembles including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Philharmonia, London Sinfonietta, Manchester Camerata, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé, Britten Sinfonia, Bournemouth Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Russian National Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Academy of Ancient Music, The Sixteen, Le Concert Spirituel, Rias Kammerchor and Bach Collegium Japan. His many festival appearances include the BBC Proms, Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Aldeburgh, Bath and Melbourne.

In 2015 he sang Christus in Peter Sellars’ staging of the St John Passion with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle – a performance now available on DVD.  He will sing this role again with both the Berlin Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in 2019.

 

Steven Osborne

Steven Osborne is one of Britain’s most treasured musicians whose insightful and idiomatic interpretations of diverse repertoire show an immense musical depth. His numerous awards include The Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist of the Year (2013) and two Gramophone Awards. His residences at London’s Wigmore Hall, Antwerp’s deSingel, the Bath International Music Festival and most recently with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra are a testament to the breadth of his interests and the respect he commands.

Concerto performances take Steven Osborne to major orchestras all over the world including recent visits to the Deutsches Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Salzburg Mozarteum, Oslo Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony, Danish National Radio, London Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Australian Chamber Orchestra, St Louis Symphony, Aspen Music Festival and Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. He has enjoyed collaborations with conductors including Christoph von Dohnanyi, Alan Gilbert, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Stéphane Denève, Ludovic Morlot, Juanjo Mena, Sakari Oramo, Andrew Litton, Ingo Metzmacher, Vladimir Jurowski, Jun Märkl, Ed Gardner and Jukka-Pekka Saraste.

Summer 2017 saw Steven Osborne give the world premiere of Julian Anderson’s Piano Concerto “The Imaginary Museum” in his fourteenth performance at the Proms. A long-time admirer of Osborne’s playing, Anderson wrote the piece for and dedicated it to him, and 17/18 sees further performances with the co-commissioners Bergen Philharmonic/Ed Gardner and Sydney Symphony/Ludovic Morlot. Reflecting his eclectic musical taste, the current season includes concertos ranging from Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart to Britten, Falla, Messiaen, Shostakovich and Tippett.

Steven Osborne’s recitals of carefully crafted programmes are publicly and critically acclaimed without exception. He has performed in many of the world’s prestigious venues including the Konzerthaus Vienna, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Philharmonie Berlin, de Doelen Rotterdam, Palais des Beaux Arts Brussels, Suntory Hall Tokyo, Kennedy Center Washington, Carnegie Hall and is a regular guest at London’s Wigmore Hall. His chamber music partners include Alban Gerhardt, Paul Lewis, James Ehnes, Dietrich Henschel and Alina Ibragimova.

Highlights of 17/18 season include performances with the Bergen Philharmonic/Gardner, Danish National Symphony/Mena, Radio Symphonieorchester Wien/ Cornelius Meister, Gulbenkian Orchestra/Mena, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Sydney Symphony/Morlot and BBC Symphony/Vedernikov. Recitals take him to Rome, Mexico, Sydney, Wigmore Hall London and to the US including a performance of Messiaen’s Vingt regards sur l’enfant Jesus at Lincoln Center.

Marking his 19th year as a Hyperion recording artist, October sees the release of solo music by Debussy. His 26 releases have accumulated numerous awards in the UK, France, Germany and the USA including two Gramophone Awards, three Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik Awards and a Choc in Classica Magazine in addition to a clutch of Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and Recordings of the Year from The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times and Sunday Times. His recordings span a wide range of repertoire including Beethoven, Schubert, Debussy, Ravel, Liszt, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Medtner, Messiaen, Britten, Tippett, Crumb and Feldman.

Steven Osborne won first prize at the prestigious Clara Haskil Competition in 1991 and the Naumburg International Competition in 1997. Born in Scotland he studied with Richard Beauchamp at St. Mary's Music School in Edinburgh and Renna Kellaway at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He is a Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in March 2014.

 

Simon Smith

Simon Smith was born in Northumberland, England in 1983. At St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh he studied piano with Richard Beauchamp and composition with Tom David Wilson. In Cambridge he studied composition with Jeremy Thurlow and Giles Swayne.

As a pianist he has performed many of the landmarks of the 20th-century repertoire, most notably the piano concerto and complete Etudes of György Ligeti, following a performance of which he was described as “a phenomenon – nothing daunts him, technically or musically” (The Scotsman). For Delphian Records he has recorded solo music by James MacMillan, Stuart MacRae, Hafliði Hallgrímsson and Thomas Wilson. A two-disc set of the complete piano music of Alfred Schnittke, released in 2013, was acclaimed as “compelling and utterly persuasive” (BBC Music Magazine) and praised for its “extraordinary sensitivity, detail and emotional commitment” (The Independent). A disc of piano music by Valentin Silvestrov was released in November 2015.

A specialist in music notation, Simon also works professionally as an editor and music engraver, having produced scores for Boosey & Hawkes of numerous large-scale works by Harrison Birtwistle, James MacMillan and others. In recent years he has concentrated increasingly on the music of Stockhausen. For the Stockhausen-Verlaghe has produced new editions of Mantra for two pianos and the ten-player Soloists' Version of Michaels Reise. He was invited to take part as synthesizer player in the first performances of this version of Michaels Reise in 25 years at the 2015 Stockhausen Courses Kürten, where he was also awarded first prize for his interpretation of Klavierstück XII. He has given performances of many of the Klavierstücke in the UK, Germany and the USA.

 

Susan Tomes

Susan Tomes has won numerous international awards as a pianist, both on the concert platform and in the recording studio, including the 2013 Cobbett Medal for distinguished service to chamber music. She grew up in Edinburgh and was the first woman to take a degree in music at King’s College, Cambridge. Her career encompasses solo, duo and chamber playing; she has been at the heart of the internationally admired ensembles Domus, the Gaudier Ensemble, and the Florestan Trio, winners of a Royal Philharmonic Society Award. She has made over fifty CDs, many of which have become benchmark recordings.

In addition to her performing career, Susan gives masterclasses, serves on competition juries across Europe and is on the faculty of the European Chamber Music Academy and of ChamberStudio in London. Her lecture-recitals – most recently on Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann piano works – enable her audiences to engage with the great classics on a new level. She has gained recognition as a cultural commentator and has been a guest on the flagship BBC radio programmes ‘Woman’s Hour’, ‘Today’, and ‘Front Row’.

Susan is the author of four acclaimed books about performance: Beyond the Notes (2004), A Musician’s Alphabet (2006), Out of Silence (2010), and Sleeping in Temples (2014). The books are studied on many ‘performance practice’ courses around the English-speaking world. Her fifth book, Speaking the Piano (recollections of learning and teaching) was published in June 2018 and earned a five-star review (‘a gem on every page’) from BBC Music Magazine. Her appeal to a diverse readership was demonstrated by her appearance at the 2016 Edinburgh International Book Festival, which attracted a sell-out audience.

Last year, The Scotsman gave her Queen’s Hall solo recital a five-star review: ‘She distils the essence of a piece of music into its purest form in the most profound and moving way.’ Susan is the artistic director and pianist of Winterplay, a mini-festival of chamber music at the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh.