Piano Festival 2010 Faculty
Marios Papadopoulos is the Festival’s Artistic Director. Since his London début in 1974, his career as pianist and conductor has been world-wide. As part of the celebrations for the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth in 2006, he has directed from the keyboard a complete cycle of all the Mozart Concertos in 7 concerts with the Oxford Philomusica in Oxford. Apart from the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas which Marios Papadopoulos is currently recording, his prolific output as a recording artist includes performances of Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on the Hyperion label, works by Mozart for a Readers’ Digest album, works by Moussorgsky - including Pictures at an Exhibition - piano works by César Franck and the 24 Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich. Most of his recordings are now available on the newly-launched Oxford Philomusica record label. In 1998, he founded the Oxford Philomusica, Orchestra in Residence at the University of Oxford, of which he is Music Director. He holds a doctorate in music from City University and is a Fellow by Special Election of Keble College, Oxford and an Honorary Fellow of the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
Andras Schiff was born in Budapest in 1953 and started piano lessons at the age of five with Elisabeth Vadász. He subsequently studied at the Ferenc Liszt Academy with Professor Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados, and in London with George Malcolm. Having worked with most of the major international orchestras and conductors, András Schiff now performs mainly as a conductor/soloist, notably with his own Cappella Andrea Barca, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. A life-long love of chamber music led to the Artistic Directorship of the ‘Musiktage Mondsee’ festival near Salzburg and the founding, with Heinz Holliger, of the ‘Ittinger Pfingstkonzerte’ in Switzerland. Similar projects followed in Vicenza and Weimar. Amongst numerous international prizes András Schiff can count Honorary Membership of the Beethoven House in Bonn, the ‘Premio della critica musicale Franco Abbiati’ and the Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize. András Schiff holds Honorary Professorships at the Music Schools of Budapest, Detmold and Munich, and his renowned scholarship will find a further outlet in forthcoming editions of Bach and Mozart by Henle Publishing. András Schiff is the President of Oxford Philomusica Piano Festival and Summer Academy and a Special Supernumerary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.
Antony Peebles was educated at Westminster School and at Trinity College Cambridge. After gaining his MusB he studied piano with Peter Katin. He also studied with Yvonne Lefebure (on a French Government scholarship) and Jeremy Siepmann. In 1971 he won the BBC Piano Competition with a unanimous vote from the jury. Vlado Perlemuter, serving on the jury, announced that he had never heard Gaspard de la nuit played better. The following year Mr Peebles won the Debussy Competition in France. Since then he has maintained a very busy performing career and has performed in an astonishing 131 different countries including Rwanda, Armenia and Libya. In the UK he has played as concerto soloist with orchestras including the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Halle, City of Birmingham Symphony, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. He regularly broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and has recorded 6 CDs for Meridian Records including a CD of Ravel’s piano music, a CD of Liszt’s operatic fantasias and 4 CDs of songs transcribed for solo piano by Liszt.
Arnaldo Cohen began his musical studies at the age of five in his native Brazil. He graduated from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro with an honours degree in both piano and violin, while also studying for an engineering degree. He went on to become a professional violinist in the Rio de Janeiro Opera House Orchestra to earn a livelihood while continuing piano studies with Jacques Klein. At the insistence of Klein, he pursued further training in Vienna with Bruno Seidlhofer and Dieter Weber. Soon after winning First Prize at the 1972 Busoni International Competition he moved to London and went on to build a repertoire of some 50 concertos and to perform with the Royal Philharmonic, the Philharmonia, the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra of Rome, collaborating with conductors Kurt Masur, Klaus Tennstedt, and Yehudi Menuhin (who described Cohen as ‘one of the greatest pianists I have ever heard’). Now living in the United States he is regularly invited to appear as soloist with major orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mr Cohen is the recipient of a fellowship awarded by the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and until recently held a professorship at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He now holds a piano professorship with tenure at Indiana University in Bloomington where, upon his appointment, he was described as ‘one of the world’s greatest living pianists’.
Cristina Ortiz’s natural musicality, masterful craftsmanship and timeless commitment to honest playing have ensured her a place among the most respected pianists in the world. Throughout her extensive career she has performed with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, and the Chicago Symphony, Philharmonia and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras among many others. She has collaborated with conductors such as Neeme Järvi, Mariss Jansons, Kurt Masur, André Previn and David Zinman. A remarkable technique and an acute sense of musical adventure, evident in her wide ranging repertoire, make Ortiz a popular choice for promoters and audiences around the world. She has recently worked with the Sydney Symphony, Philadelphia, NHK Symphony, Czech Philharmonic and Cleveland Orchestras, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orquesta de Valencia, Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma, and the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Last season, she collaborated with cellist Antonio Meneses alongside Dimitri Ashkenazy, as well as with the Chilingirian Quartet in the south of France where she successfully organized her first informal festival of chamber-music-plus-jazz. Highlights of the 2009/10 season have included solo recitals in Tokyo, Beijing (the Forbidden City Concert Hall), Paris, throughout Brazil and at London’s International Piano Series at Southbank Centre.
Fou Ts'ong was once described by Time Magazine as 'the greatest Chinese musician alive today’. He was born in Shanghai in 1934 to Fou Lei, a renowned translator of French Literature and famous scholar. He studied under Zbigniew Drzewicki in Warsaw; and was awarded the Mazurka Prize in the Chopin competition in 1953, which resulted in many performances in Eastern Europe. In 1959, he was invited to perform in London at the Royal Albert Hall under the baton of Carl Maria Giulini and since then has made London his home. Fou Ts’ong has performed worldwide. His recordings on Meridian label include works by Scarlatti, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann and Debussy. He has been on the jury for international competitions including Leeds, Queen Elizabeth (Brussels), Dino Ciani, Geneva and Santander. He returns to Shanghai every year to give masterclasses at the conservatoire. He also teaches at the International Foundation for Young pianists at Como and has inspired and helped many young pianists along their way.
Gordon Fergus-Thompson’s repertoire includes 45 concertos and a wealth of recital programmes embracing a period from Bach to Webern. His main solo specialisations are Schumann, Brahms, the French Impressionists, and the Russian Romantics - Balakirev, Scriabin, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. Gordon Fergus-Thompson has recorded the complete works of Debussy and Ravel, and he will soon complete his marathon 8-CD set of the solo music of Scriabin. He has played in many of the world’s music capitals, has given masterclasses across the United States and in Australia, and has also given classes and lectures at the RAM, as well as several university music faculties in the UK. Gordon Fergus-Thompson was appointed Professor at the RCM in 1996.
John Holmes was educated at Sevenoaks School and King's College, Cambridge, where he read Music. He studied piano with Bernard King and Alexander Kelly, and clarinet with Jack Brymer. As clarinettist he has performed with professional orchestras, though for many years the focus of his work has been instrumental and academic music teaching at Tonbridge School, where he is Head of Academic Music and Head of Woodwind. In August however, he will be leaving Tonbridge School to take over from Clara Taylor, upon her retirement, as ABRSM Chief Examiner. John joined ABRSM as an examiner in 1990, and since then has combined teaching and performing with a wide range of ABRSM involvements, including CT Course Mentoring, Diploma and Jazz examining, numerous international examining tours, training, moderating and presenting seminars.
Malcolm Troup studied with Alberto Guerrero and later with Walter Gieseking. He has performed all over the world and recorded for RCA Victor and Continuum - his performance of Messiaen's Vingt Regards was judged ‘notably perceptive ... with splendid panache’ by the Financial Times. Malcolm Troup has been Director of Music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and was awarded his own chairmanship at City University. He holds the Commonwealth Medal, an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Memorial University of Newfoundland and the 1998 Liszt Medal from the American Liszt Society. Malcolm Troup was Master of the Worshipful Company of Musicians in 1999 and is currently Chairman of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe and of the European Council of EPTA. Malcolm Troup is the Vice President of Oxford Philomusica Piano Festival and Summer Academy.
Michael Roll is one of Britain’s most distinguished pianists. He was born in England, the son of Viennese parents, and began to play at a very early age, studying with Fanny Waterman. He made his concert debut with the City of Birmingham Orchestra at the age of ten and his Royal Festival Hall debut at twelve playing the Schumann Concerto with Sir Malcolm Sargent conducting. His success at the first Leeds International Piano Competition in 1963, where he won first prize at the age of 17, led to the start of a career which has taken him all over the world, appearing with such distinguished conductors as Barbirolli, Boulez, Giulini, Haitink, Leinsdorf, Previn, Sanderling and Sawallisch. In Europe, Michael Roll has toured with the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and English Chamber Orchestras, and has appeared with the Swedish Radio, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Residentie and Kirov Orchestras under the batons of Masur, Gergiev, Svetlanov, DePreist and Kamu. He made his American debut in 1974 with the Boston Symphony and Sir Colin Davis, appearing in Boston and New York, and has toured Japan with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Michael Roll currently holds a Professorship at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany.
Voted Britain's least boring music critic by listeners to Classic FM - an honour of sorts - Michael White studied at Oxford and began his journalistic life on the Guardian before joining the Independent, becoming chief critic there and lead columnist for the BBC Music Magazine. Now writing for the Telegraph (with a classical music blog), he's also a contributor to the New York Times and Opera Now, with weekly columns in the Catholic Herald and Ham & High series. As a broadcaster he has presented BBC Radio 3's long-running Opera in Action and Best of Three and made documentaries on composers like Menotti, Britten, Nielsen and Walton. For BBC TV he has attempted to explain Wagner's Ring in half an hour, presented programmes on Glyndebourne, Bryn Terfel and other musical-ish subjects, fronted Cardiff Singer of the World, and done a long, live, careful commentary on Pavarotti's funeral. As an opera librettist/translator he's worked with composers like David Bedford and Jonathan Lloyd, and his texts have been used for performances throughout Europe. He introduces concerts/leads study days for Wigmore Hall and has lectured internationally. A judge for the Evening Standard Awards, Classical Brit Awards, Royal Philharmonic Society Awards and Sainsbury's Choir of the Year, he has served on the boards of the Cheltenham Festival, Spitalfields Festival and London International Piano Competition. And he's written two books: Introducing Wagner (Icon) and Opera & Operetta. (HarperCollins).
Olli Mustonen has a unique place on today’s music scene. As a pianist, he has challenged and fascinated audiences with his brilliant technique and startling originality. In his role as conductor, he founded the Helsinki Festival Orchestra and as a composer he forms part of a very special line of musicians whose vision is expressed as vividly in the art of re-creative interpretation as it is in their own compositions. Born in Helsinki, he began his studies at the age of five with Ralf Gothoni. He subsequently studied piano with Eero Heinonen and composition with Einojuhani Rautavaara. As a soloist, Mustonen has worked with most of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and The Royal Concertgebouw. This season he will appear as a soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. Increasingly, Mustonen is also making his mark as a conductor; this season brings engagements with the Bern Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, with whom he embarks upon a complete cycle of Beethoven piano concerti as soloist/director.
Tatiana Sarkissova is among the most distinguished exponents of the Moscow school of piano playing. She began the instrument at the age of six. After graduating from the Gnessins Music School she studied at the Moscow Conservatoire with the eminent pianist and music pedagogue, Dmitri Bashkirov. Upon completing her studies, Tatiana embarked on an international concert career, playing both solo recitals and with a number of orchestras. Along with the solo and concerto repertoire, Tatiana Sarkissova is an experienced chamber musician, with a wide repertoire covering all the major works written for piano and chamber ensembles. She played and has made recordings with many artists of an international acclaim. She has toured Russia, Eastern and Western Europe, as well as the USA, and has taken part in many international music festivals including ones in Germany, France, UK, Italy, Finland and Sweden. Tatiana Sarkissova is in a constant demand as a teacher and has been Professor of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music since 1993. She also gives masterclasses regulary in many European countries, and many of her students are prizewinners of international piano competitions.
Tessa Nicholson studied piano, harpsichord and piano accompaniment at both the Royal Academy and Royal College of Music, where her teachers included Lamar Crowson and John Lill. She was later awarded several scholarships to study in Italy with Maria Tipo and Guido Agosti. On her return to London, she worked intensively with the renowned teacher Maria Curcio, pupil of Arthur Schnabel. Tessa Nicholson has performed widely in the UK, giving many performances at London's Wigmore Hall and at South Bank Centre, and making several recordings for BBC Radio 3 and the World Service. Her performances with orchestra have included the Grieg Piano Concerto and Franck's Symphonic Variations with the CBSO. Tessa currently teaches at The Royal Academy of Music and at The Purcell School. Her outstanding skills as a teacher are reflected in the numerous successes of her students – winning many prizes at national and international level, and performing at such prestigious venues as The Royal Festival Hall, The Wigmore Hall, The Cadogan Hall, St John's Smith Square and The Regent's Hall. Tessa Nicholson combines her busy teaching career with regular performances, both solo and ensemble, at home and abroad.