PHILIP MARTIN, THE PIANIST and COMPOSER

The Irish pianist-composer's recital and concerto performances are marked by a sense of engagement, musical understanding and a gift of communication. This makes him a special force in the music world today.

 

He gave his first concert aged six and won an ABRSM scholarship to the Royal Academy of music in London, while still in his teens, studying both piano and Composition. He spent three years with pianist-composer Franz Reizenstein, himself a  pupil of Paul Hindemith, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Solomon. His time with Reizenstein, and later, his many years of study with Louis Kentner, (also a composer) set the seal on his future musical life where his talents in both areas continued to flourish in equal measure.

 

Philip has played with most of the major London orchestras as well as the CBSO, Halle, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic etc,  while his numerous recital and concerto performances with all of the BBC Orchestras have added greatly to his extensive Concerto repertoire.

 

He gave the premiere performance of Samuel Barber's piano concerto in Ireland, and followed this with three separate repeat performances with three different BBC orchestras. He has also played this beautiful work in France (Paris), Germany and Turkey.

 

His love and passion for American music resulted in a UK-US Bicentennial Arts Fellowship to study, research and meet American composers in order to promulgate knowledge of this music when he returned to the UK. Whilst in the USA, he performed in many prestigious venues such as the Aspen and Tanglewood Festivals as well as performing two concerti in Boston Symphony Hall. He made his New York debut as part of the Britain Salutes New York Festival and his Paris debut followed shortly after. He has held many residences in USA, at the Pennsylvania State University, Crane school of music New York, De Paul University, Chicago, Syracuse and many others including McGill university in Montreal, Canada. 

 

Combining a full pianistic concert life with that of a busy composer has resulted in many and varied commissions including four piano concerti, a Harp concerto, major choral and symphonic works, including his first Symphony, as well as chamber music and over 300 songs. Many of these are on commercial disc., as is the second piano concerto and Harp concerto.

 

His recordings for RCA Red Seal, Chandos, Somm and Hyperion records have gained him critical praise such as USA Fanfare Magazine----"No one plays Gottschalk's music with such exquisite tact or with such captivating, improvisatory passion" or, Bryce Morrison in Gramophone magazine "This is playing of sympathetic finesse and lyrical elegance"

 

Philip's compositions  have garnered the following praise 'his First symphony creates a distinctive harmonic language through the contrapuntal combination of certain kinds of vigorously rhythmic, colourful ideas'

 

He enjoys a busy private teaching practice at his home in Worcestershire taking delight in helping the "amateur" pianist gain their full potential. He puts an emphasis on tone-production, bringing out the poetry in performance and the importance of the mastery of the pedal which Kentner believed singled out one pianist from another making for more interesting and individual playing.

 

He was honoured with a Professorship at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University, where he taught for over thirty years. Lord Yehudi Menuhin presented him with an Honorary  Fellowship of the Royal Academy of music in London, and, he is also a member of AOSDANA, Ireland's prestigious Academy of creative artists.

images and text © Philip & Julia Martin