Piano Festival 2011 Faculty
Christopher Elton was born in Edinburgh and received his musical education at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He was a prizewinner in several British and international piano competitions, playing and broadcasting regularly both as a soloist and a chamber musician. Christopher Elton’s international recognition has come as a result of the many successes of his students. International awards include first prizes in the Van Cliburn, Jaen, Dudley and New Orleans International Piano Competitions as well as other major prizes in Leeds and Shanghai, to name just two. While his priority is to his teaching at the Royal Academy of Music, Christopher Elton is also in demand overseas as a teacher and jury member for international competitions. Within the last few years he has given masterclasses in the USA, Israel, Australia, Hong Kong, Germany and Vietnam.
Dame Fanny Waterman occupies a pre-eminent position in the piano teaching world. Born in Leeds, she studied with Tobias Matthay, and later as a Scholar at the Royal College of Music with Cyril Smith. She is co-founder of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition of which she is Chairman & Artistic Director. For the last thirty years she has been highly sought after as a jury member of international competitions and to give masterclasses worldwide. She has served as Vice President of the World Federation of International Music Competitions and is Vice President of EPTA. In 2010, Dame Fanny was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society, the Honoured Guest at the Women of the Year Lunch in London and she has been the castaway on Desert Island Discs.
Elisabeth Eschwé is a true polymath: she studied piano with Margareta Heeger and acting with Professor Lola Braxton, in addition to taking degrees in English and Philosophy. She has since combined her musical and literary talents and today specialises in creating ‘scenic piano recitals’ which vividly illustrate and illuminate their subjects. She will present her latest, the love story of Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck in words and music, at the festival. Her work as a piano soloist has taken her from the Vienna Konzerthaus to New York’s Carnegie Hall. As a teacher, she is renowned for applying the famous acting methods of Stanislawski to piano playing. Elisabeth is director of a Viennese music school, lectures on her teaching methods at various American Universities and regularly serves as a juror for international music competitions.
Regarded as one of Britain’s most creative and distinctive pianists, Julian Jacobson performs repertoire ranging from the sonatas of Beethoven to some of the most challenging works of the last century. In 1987 he gave the UK premiere of Ligeti’s Etudes Book One, his subsequent radio recording of which was praised by the composer. Other composers who have written works for him include Stephen Oliver, Robert Saxton, Michael Nyman and Daryl Runswick. In October 2003 he attracted international media coverage for his performance of all 32 Beethoven sonatas in a single day. Julian taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Royal Holloway College, and was Head of Keyboard Studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music. He is currently a Professor of Piano at the Royal College of Music, London.
Renowned concert pianist Leslie Howard has given recitals and concerto performances all over the world. His work embraces the full gamut of the piano repertoire from the time of the instrument’s inception to contemporary works. Howard’s gramophone recordings include music by Franck, Grainger, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky and, most important of all, Liszt. For fourteen years he was engaged in the largest recording project ever undertaken by a solo musician: the complete piano music of Franz Liszt on the Hyperion label. Howard is also a regular writer and speaker on music, and he gives masterclasses in tandem with his performances around the world. Leslie Howard is a member of The London Beethoven Trio, and is the President of the British Liszt Society. He holds numerous international awards for his dedication to Liszt’s music.
Malcolm Troup studied with Alberto Guerrero and later with Walter Gieseking. His performance of Messiaen’s Vingt Regards Sur L’Enfant Jésus 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 from Memorial University of Newfoundland and the 1998 Liszt Medal from the American Liszt Society. He 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 the European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA). Malcolm Troup is the Vice President of Oxford Philomusica Piano Festival and Summer Academy.
Marios Papadopoulos is the Festival’s Artistic Director. Since his London debut in 1974, his career as pianist and conductor has been world-wide. 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, works by Mozart for a Readers’ Digest album, works by Mussorgsky – including Pictures at an Exhibition – piano works by César Franck and the 24 Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich. 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.
Menahem Pressler, founding member and pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio, has established himself among the world’s most distinguished and honoured musicians, with a career that spans over five decades. Now in his 86th year, he continues to captivate audiences throughout the world as performer and pedagogue, performing solo and chamber music recitals to great critical acclaim while maintaining a dedicated and robust teaching career. As illustrious as a teacher as a performer, Professor Pressler has been hailed as “Master Pedagogue” and has had prize-winning students in all of the major international piano competitions, including the Queen Elizabeth, Busoni, Rubenstein, Leeds and Van Cliburn competitions among many others. In addition to teaching his private students at Indiana University, he presents masterclasses throughout the world, and continues to serve on the jury of many major international piano competitions.
Voted Britain’s least boring music critic by Classic FM listeners – an accolade 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 of BBC Music Magazine. Now writing for the Telegraph and New York Times, he also contributes to the Catholic Herald and Ham & High series. He has presented BBC Radio 3’s long-running Opera in Action and Best of Three, chaired Radio 4 arts series The Sound Barrier, and made several documentaries on composers. He introduces concerts and leads study days for Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Opera North and other venues, and has lectured internationally. Last year he completed major research on the singer Jennifer Vyvyan, which will be the subject of a Radio 4 documentary.
Niel Immelman studied with Cyril Smith, Ilona Kabos and Maria Curcio. He was still a student when Bernard Haitink invited him to play Rachmaninov’s Paganini Rhapsody with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. This successful debut was followed by further appearances with the London Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic and other major orchestras at the Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Following his pioneering survey of the complete piano works of Josef Suk, he has recently embarked on a similar series devoted to the output of Vítìslav Novák, also on the Meridian label. Niel Immelman’s teaching career is equally distinguished: he is Professor of Piano at the Royal College of Music and he has given masterclasses in Helsinki, Melbourne, Moscow, Vienna and Warsaw. He regularly serves on juries of international competitions.
Shai Wosner has gained international recognition for his exceptional artistry, musical integrity, and creative insight as a pianist. He has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Chicago, Houston, and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, the Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Staatskapelle Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic. Recent and upcoming highlights include his subscription debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; performances with the Bournemouth Symphony and BBC Philharmonic; return visits to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in subscription concerts and also at the Proms; a series of Beethoven sonatas at LSO St Luke’s; and recitals at Wigmore Hall, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the 92nd Street Y in New York, and the Oregon Bach Festival. He lives in New York City.
Stephen Hough is widely regarded as one of the most important and distinctive pianists of our time. In 2001 he was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship joining prominent scientists, writers and others who have made unique contributions to contemporary life. Stephen has appeared with most of the major European and American orchestras and plays recitals in major concert series around the world from the Royal Festival Hall to Carnegie Hall. He is a regular guest at festivals such as Salzburg, Tanglewood and the BBC Proms. Recent and upcoming highlights include performances with the Berliner Philharmoniker; the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras; the Chicago and San Francisco Symphonies, and The Cleveland and Russian National Festival Orchestras. His recordings have garnered four Grammy nominations and eight Gramophone Awards, and he is a noted writer and composer.
Born in Los Angeles, Stephen Kovacevich made his concert debut as a pianist at the age of 11. When he was 18 he moved to England to study with Dame Myra Hess. His international reputation has been built both on his concert appearances, renowned for their thoughtfulness and creative intensity, and on the highly acclaimed recordings he has made throughout his career. Kovacevich’s recent recording of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations won the 2009 Classic FM Gramophone Editor’s Choice Award. Stephen Kovacevich has appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras and conductors including Colin Davis, Hans Graf, Bernard Haitink, Kurt Masur, Simon Rattle and Georg Solti. Kovacevich is a committed chamber music player whose partners include Steven Isserlis, Gautier Capuçon, Renaud Capuçon, Kyung-Wha Chung, Truls Mørk, Emmanuel Pahud and Anna Larsson.
Tessa Nicholson studied piano, harpsichord and piano accompaniment at the Royal Academy and Royal College of Music with Lamar Crowson and John Lill, and later in Italy with Maria Tipo and Guido Agosti. She has performed widely in the UK, giving performances at London’s Wigmore Hall and Southbank Centre, and making recordings for BBC Radio 3 and the World Service. 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, Cadogan Hall and Regent’s Hall. Tessa Nicholson combines her teaching career with regular performances at home and abroad.
Internationally-renowned pianist William Fong regularly performs with the world’s leading orchestras, and in recital. In the UK he has performed at all of London’s major venues and his concerts have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and BBC television. International performances have taken place in New York, Moscow and St Petersburg, and across France and Spain. William first came to international attention in 1984 when he won the first prize, gold medal and Rosa Sabater prize in Jaén, Spain. He is also a chamber musician and has performed with the Brodsky Quartet and members of Guildhall Strings. William is an active and successful teacher, in demand for masterclasses and adjudication across the world. He is also a Professor at the Royal Academy of Music and Head of Keyboard at the Purcell School.