A professor at the Guildhall School since 1987, Peter Bithell has played and given masterclasses extensively in Europe, North and South America, and China. He has won several prizes in international competitions including the Busoni, Paloma O’Shea (Santander) and the first Queen Sofia Prize in Madrid. After the two Spanish competitions, he played in over fifty cities in Spain and returns regularly as a competition jury member. Peter Bithell studied at the Royal Academy of Music, in Rome and Siena with Guido Agosti, and in London with Maria Curcio. This will be the fifth time that he has appeared at the Oxford Piano Festival.
Peter Donohoe is acclaimed as one of the foremost pianists of our time for his musicianship, stylistic versatility, and commanding technique. In recent seasons Donohoe has appeared with Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and Concert Orchestras, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, St Petersburg Philharmonia, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Belarusian State Symphony Orchestra, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, as well as giving concerts in many South American and European countries, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Russia, and USA. Donohoe’s most recent discs include Tchaikovsky Solo Piano Works, which was Instrumental Choice in BBC Music Magazine, and three volumes of Mozart Piano Sonatas with SOMM Records. Donohoe has performed with all the major London orchestras, as well as orchestras from across the world: the Royal Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Philharmonic, Swedish Radio, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Vienna Symphony and Czech Philharmonic Orchestras. Peter Donohoe is an honorary Doctor of music at seven UK universities, and was awarded a CBE for services to classical music in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List.
Barry Douglas has established a major international career since winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition. In 2021 Barry was awarded a CBE for services to music and community relations. He celebrates his Irish heritage as Artistic Director of Camerata Ireland, the only all-Ireland orchestra, and of the Clandeboye Festival. In recent seasons Barry has performed with orchestras including the London Symphony, the Hallé, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Russian National, Sydney Symphony, and continued his collaboration with the Borodin String Quartet. In the 16/17 season he marked the 30th anniversary of his Tchaikovsky Competition win by performing the full Tchaikovsky piano concerto cycle with the RTE Orchestra in Dublin and the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast. A highly sought-after recitalist and chamber musician, Barry has performed across the globe from Royal Albert Hall, Barbican, Wigmore Hall and the Verbier Festival, to the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and the Grand Theatre in Shanghai. Barry is an exclusive Chandos recording artist. He recently completed a six-album recording of the full solo piano works of Brahms. His current recording projects focus on the solo piano works of Schubert and Tchaikovsky.
Named by The Economist as one of Twenty Living Polymaths, Stephen Hough combines a distinguished career as a pianist with those of composer and writer. Appointed CBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours, he is a laureate of the MacArthur Fellowship and Royal Philharmonic Society. His extensive discography of over 60 CDs has garnered international accolades including the Diapason d’Or de l’Année and eight Gramophone Awards. On 1 June 2020, Hough re-opened Wigmore Hall, performing the UK’s first live classical music concert in a major venue since the nationwide lockdown in March. Later that summer he made his 29th appearance at the BBC Proms performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Engagements in 2020/21 have included concerto performances with the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony and Seoul Philharmonic orchestras, with Hough due to return to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in September 2021.
Ian Jones is a Fellow and Professor of Piano and Deputy Head of Keyboard at the Royal College of Music. His career as a Steinway Artist has taken him to all five continents for concerts and broadcasts, including acclaimed performances in London with the Royal Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestras. His world premiere performances and recordings of music by British composer Rebecca Clarke have received enthusiastic attention. On the release of his CD, Chopin: Summer in Nohant, Classic FM Magazine drew comparison with Rubinstein and Arrau, whilst BBC Music Magazine described his playing as having ‘a lyrical elegance and unself-conscious purity of expression’. He is Artistic Director of the World Piano Teachers Association International Piano Competition, a frequent juror at other international piano competitions and performs and conducts masterclasses in many countries, most recently in the USA, Japan, Italy, Sweden, Greece, Serbia, Russia and China.
With an international career spanning over six decades, Stephen Kovacevich has long been recognised as one of the most searching interpreters. Born in Los Angeles, Kovacevich made his European debut at Wigmore Hall in 1961. He has appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras and conductors, including Hans Graf, Bernard Haitink, Kurt Masur, Sir Simon Rattle, Yannick Nezet-Seguin and the late Sir Georg Solti. Kovacevich is a frequent guest at prestigious festivals including Lugano, Verbier, and the Mariinsky International Piano Festival. He has forged long-standing artistic partnerships, including numerous recordings with Sir Colin Davis and frequent duo appearances alongside Martha Argerich. A committed chamber musician, Kovacevich enjoys regular artistic collaborations with Nicola Benedetti, Renaud Capuçon, Gautier Capuçon, Emmanuel Pahud and Alina Ibragimova. To celebrate his 75th birthday, Decca released a Limited Edition 25-CD box set of his entire recorded legacy for Philips. In 2008, he re-recorded Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, which won him the Classic FM Gramophone Editor’s Choice Award (2009) and the Gramophone Magazine Top Choice Award (2015).
Helen Krizos has had a distinguished career both as performer and teacher. She enjoyed working in a piano duo partnership for many years, leading to UK-wide recognition as one of the most sought-after ensembles. She performed regularly on BBC Radio 3 and made highly successful recordings for Hyperion. For many years, Krizos was Deputy Head of Keyboard Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music where she now continues as principal lecturer in piano. She has a passionate interest in developing pedagogy to train the next generation of piano teachers and established this programme at the RNCM. Her students have won prizes nationally and internationally, including at BBC Young Musician of the Year; Royal Over-Seas League Competition; Tunbridge Wells International Piano Competition; Netherlands International Competition; Ettlingen and Porto. Alumni students have proceeded to enjoy varied career paths as chamber musicians, solo pianists, accompanists, teachers, and conductors. As an internationally recognised teacher Helen has given masterclasses in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Spain, Norway, Austria, China and Singapore.
Since 2005, Vanessa Latarche has been Head of Keyboard at the Royal College of Music, formerly having been a Professor of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music, where she was made an Honorary Associate in 1997. Latarche was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Music, an honour conferred on her by HRH Prince of Wales in 2010. In 2011, she was granted a Personal Chair, and in 2017 was made Associate Director for Partnerships in China. Latarche frequently travels to give masterclasses in such institutions as Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory, Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Beijing Central Conservatory, and she is an advisor to Lang Lang’s music school in Shenzhen, China. In the UK, Latarche has performed as soloist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Concert and BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestras and appeared at festivals including Cheltenham and Harrogate. She has been a juror for competitions worldwide including BBC Young Musician of the Year.
Mishka Rushdie Momen, described in The Times as “one of the most thoughtful and sensitive of British pianists”, was The Times Arts critics’ chosen nominee in the field of classical music for their 2021 Breakthrough Award, part of the South Bank Sky Arts Awards. She appears in recitals and concerto performances worldwide, and Sir András Schiff, with whom she studied at the Kronberg Academy, has presented her in recitals in venues across Europe and in New York City. Highlights of recent and future performances include a debut solo recital at Wigmore Hall, concertos with Kremerata Baltica, Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and solo and duo recitals at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Four recitals with Steven Isserlis were streamed and broadcast live from Wigmore Hall during the 2020-2021 season, a partnership described as “compelling” (The Times ****), “delicately matched” (The Guardian ***** ) and “altogether wonderful” (The Telegraph *****). Mishka Rushdie Momen returns to the Oxford Piano Festival this year as a performer, having joined the Festival previously as a participant.
Marios Papadopoulos is the founder of the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra and the Oxford Piano Festival. He has appeared in many of the world’s most prestigious venues and worked with a host of eminent musicians including Evgeny Kissin, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Maxim Vengerov, Martha Argerich and Lang Lang. His many recordings feature works by Beethoven, Mozart, Mussorgsky, César Franck, Stravinsky and the 24 Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich. He conducts the Oxford Philharmonic in new recordings of the Brahms and Sibelius violin concertos with Maxim Vengerov with whom he has also recorded the complete Brahms Violin Sonatas. In recent years, Maestro Papadopoulos has concentrated his work mainly in Oxford with the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra. Rare guest appearances have included a UK tour with the LPO and a Mozart piano concerto cycle directed from the keyboard with the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra. In 2019, he conducted a new production of The Marriage of Figaro for the Greek National Opera at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens. Marios holds a doctorate in music from City University, is a Fellow by Special Election of Keble College Oxford and has been awarded an MBE for services to music in Oxford.
Kathryn Stott. At the age of five, I made friends with the upright piano in our living room. That was the beginning of my musical journey, one which continues as you read this. Studies at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music led me abruptly into the life of a professional musician via the Leeds International Piano Competition, and onto a steep learning curve. After a rollercoaster three years, I realised that I needed to re-connect with chamber music in a bid to feel more connected to other musicians and when, quite by chance, I met Yo-Yo Ma in 1978, it turned out to be one of the most fortuitous moments of my life and led to a long-standing collaboration. There are too many highlights in my career to mention. Yes, it was a thrill to perform at the Last Night of the Proms, but equally a massive thrill to have lit up twenty small faces in an inner-city school while they jumped up and down to energetic piano music! Working with young musicians is something I feel passionate about and I’ve also had some truly exciting music written for me by composers. What an unbelievable privilege it is to be immersed in a language which has no boundaries and has allowed me to share musical stories on a global scale; that little upright piano set me on quite a path!