June 25th, 2022
Praise for new Sibelius album with Fenella Humphreys
The new recording, released earlier this year on the Resonus Classics label, was selected as ‘Chamber Choice’ in the March issue of BBC Music Magazine with a glowing double 5-star review and drew praise from Andrew McGregor on BBC Radio 3’s Saturday Record Review programme. The new album has also received enthusiastic reviews in Gramophone Magazine (April 2022) and The Strad.
“..Humphreys and Joseph Tong again make a persuasive case for this music..no prospective listener is likely to go wrong with this new recording.” Gramophone
January 8th, 2022
New release! My album of Sibelius works for violin and piano with Fenella Humphreys is now available on the Resonus Classics label, either to download or as a CD. We are thrilled that the new recording is being featured on Scala Radio as ‘Album of the Weekend’!
December 5th, 2021
I’m delighted and honoured to have a Wigmore Hall recital in the diary for next year.
On 25th November 2022 I’ll be giving a lunchtime concert to mark 200 years since Schubert’s ‘Wanderer Fantasy’ was written. What a wonderful way of being able to celebrate this incredible piece – obviously I’m hugely looking forward to this!
November 26th, 2021
An update on the new commission of a set of pieces from David Matthews inspired by British trees – I’m excited to be giving the first performance at the Three Choirs Festival in Hereford in July 2022 (date TBC.) Plans are also in progress for a performance of the new work in Finland, at the Sibelius Museum in Turku. In both concerts, David’s new pieces will be performed alongside the set of Five Tree Pieces Op. 75 by Sibelius.
October 27th, 2021
Today I was honoured to give the long-delayed world premiere of Edwin Roxburgh’s ‘Dialogue and Toccata’ for piano duet with Waka Hasegawa at St James’s Piccadilly.
This brilliant new addition to the repertoire was completed during the first lockdown in April 2020 and commissioned with generous funding from the RVW Trust.
The concert was arranged in association with the Park Lane Group Music Trust and was also live-streamed. It was wonderful to see so many friends in the audience in our first London recital for more than two years and to play on the beautiful Fazioli piano at SJP.
October 22nd, 2021
Very happy to announce that I have signed with Polyphony Arts for artist management starting from this month. I’m looking forward to working on new projects and collaborations with my artist manager, Nick Cutts and will keep posting updates about forthcoming concerts, commissions and recordings. Exciting times ahead!
September 3rd, 2021
Refreshed from a holiday in the Scottish Highlands, including a hike to Ben Nevis and some beautiful walks in the Cairngorms, I was thrilled to be performing for audiences again. It was a real pleasure to give the first concert in this season’s lunchtime series at Newport Cathedral on 21st August. Following on from my Scotland trip it seemed a fitting co-incidence to be performing Schubert’s ‘Wanderer Fantasy’ as well as two wonderful late Beethoven works, the E major Sonata Op. 109 and a selection from the Bagatelles Op. 126.
The following day, I joined the online faculty for the Chetham’s International Piano Summer School and had a hugely rewarding time working with students from the UK, Mauritius and Japan as well as enjoying the many livestreamed concerts and events taking place at Stoller Hall in Manchester.
July 19, 2021
It was such a joy to perform for a live audience again last Wednesday, giving a recital of Grieg and Schumann on an 1864 Steinway as part of the Cobbe Collection Series at Hatchlands in Surrey. Afterwards, I was lucky enough to have the chance to play many of the historical keyboard instruments in the collection including Chopin’s Pleyel and his pupil Jane Stirling’s Erard. Certainly a day to remember!
July 12, 2021
The Sendesaal Bremen recital has been rescheduled for April 20th 2022, with a new programme of Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann.
Bremen Sendesaal Recital 20th April – Postponed
Due to travel restrictions and quarantine regulations in the UK and Germany, my recital at the Sendesaal in Bremen has had to be postponed for the second time. This was also to have been a CD launch concert at the hall in which I made the Schumann recording a couple of years ago. Details of the rearranged concert date to follow soon!
November 9, 2020
It was wonderful to be able to make a CD recording with the violinist Fenella Humphreys last week at the beautiful Cedars Hall in Wells. Over two days we recorded five sets of pieces by Sibelius in addition to his youthful ‘Andante Cantabile in G major’ with our brilliant producer, Matthew Bennett and sound engineer Dave Rowell. This Sibelius recording project with Fenella had been several years in the planning and after two postponements we were all very relieved that it could finally go ahead in late-October. A truly inspiring experience, all the more keenly appreciated with so few concerts being able to go ahead this autumn.
May 1, 2020
After more than a month of lockdown measures and social-distancing, life has changed for everyone as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and tragic loss of life here in the UK and around the world.
This has put all the usual, day to day hopes and anxieties of a musician such as myself into clear perspective when there are far more important things to be concerned about than preparing for the next concert – whenever that may be.
That said, I feel really fortunate to be a pianist in these strange and challenging times because music has that special power to uplift, to absorb us and to communicate our innermost feelings. Fellow pianists have humorously pointed out that the situation of being at home working in virtual isolation is not so very different from what pianists generally do anyway. Similarly, my piano is a reassuring sight and always there for me despite becoming increasingly out of tune, but not unbearably so!
So it may seem like an unlikely time to be putting the finishing touches to a new website, but I was lucky in getting this project underway back in mid-February with the designer Jon Jacob – it seems like a different age when we met up at the South Bank Centre about a month before the lockdown to have an initial chat about the new site and put a plan into action.
I am delighted with the results and hugely grateful to Jon for completing this new site over the past few weeks – thankfully all achievable through working
In the meantime, I’ve been practising up programmes which may inevitably get postponed this summer but haven’t been quite yet, exploring more Sibelius (no surprises there) and getting adjusted to the world of online piano teaching via Zoom and Teams. A quick update about summer courses – the Benslow Music piano duet course with Waka Hasegawa has been postponed until 2021 but plans are being discussed for a possible online course next month, and a further announcement about the Wells International Summer School in late-July is expected at the end of next week.