Virtual Music Events at Queen's returns this week with William Howard in Conversation.
Watch again here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-OsFRytaQc&ab_channel=SARC
William has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a pianist that has celebrated both solo and chamber musics and, strikingly, has excelled between mainstream and contemporary repertoire. As a founder member of the Schubert Ensemble he championed piano quartet and quintet repertoire around the world for 35 years; this ensemble also created a landmark repertoire of commissioned work that the Ensemble has championed in concerts around the world. As solo pianist, meanwhile, William has also forged close relationships with composers and individual repertoires, becoming a particular champion of music from the Czech Republic, for which he was awarded a medal by the Czech Ministry of Culture.
William has made a striking feature of repertoire projects, the most substantial being Love Songs, a global call for piano pieces that drew 526 anonymous entries; the project also involved 16 commissioned works by senior composers. His deferred recital programme for Queen’s was to feature a programme based around Howard Skempton’s 24 Preludes and Fugues, a highly original cycle of short pieces written for William and premiered by him in 2019. This online chat will include discussion about William’s recent immersion in this composer’s idiosyncratic work.
WILLIAM HOWARD, described in The Independent as “a pianist of quite special lustrousness and versatility”, is established as one of Britain’s leading pianists, enjoying a career that has taken him to over 40 different countries. His performing life consists of solo recitals, concerto performances, guest appearances with chamber ensembles and instrumentalists. In 1983 he founded the Schubert Ensemble, with which he performed for the full 35 years of the Ensemble’s existence. William performs regularly at major venues and festivals in the UK and can be heard frequently on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. He has made over forty CD recordings and premiered several dozen new works by leading composers from the UK and abroad. His most recent recordings include Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs, a highly acclaimed album of piano pieces that he commissioned from leading composers around the world. Released in 2018 by Orchid Classics, it has had nearly two and a half million streams on different platforms. In February 2020 he released an album of piano works by Howard Skempton, also on Orchid Classics, which includes Skempton’s 24 Preludes and Fugues, written for and premiered by William in 2019. He has also contributed to recently released recordings of music by Piers Hellawell (on the Delphian label) and Cheryl Frances-Hoad (Champs Hill).
Photo Credit Edward Webb