Here at Finchcocks, we are incredibly lucky to have some of the top performers and teachers this country (and further field!) has to offer on our teaching team.
They are an extremely talented bunch and we think some of their recent achievements deserve shouting about!
So here are just a few things we’re celebrating with them (as well as generally being wonderful, inspiring and kind). In alphabetical order…
Steven Devine‘s discography is as long as your arm and continues to grow! He has recorded two CDs this year and his new disc of Bach’s Harpsichord Concertos comes out with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightment this May. The month looks set to be a busy one, as Steven also goes on a tour of Spain with the Academy of Ancient Music. He’s also given concerts in Spain, Germany, Poland and across the UK!
Graham Fitch is highly in demand as a teacher. His own YouTube channel and extremely popular online academy Practising the Piano is well-known across the world and brings international students to Finchcocks from all over. His reputation for delivering high quality teaching online, at Finchcocks and The Piano Teachers’ Course UK, as well as his writing for the Pianist Magazine, has led Oxford University Press to invite him to co-author two chapters in their forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Piano Pedagogy. (Will he sneak in some of his infamous jokes?) Watch this space!
Selected as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, Daniel Grimwood‘s most recent release Henselt Complete Études and Préambules was described as “compelling, fearless and nuanced”. Daniel’s detailed study of each composer and work he is performing shines through in everything he performs, and his enthusiasm for what he teaches on our Finchcocks courses is absolutely infectious. No wonder Peters Edition also asked him to edit the newly published Henselt Complete Etudes and the Royal College of Music invited him to give a guest lecture and masterclass on Henselt for a day.
David Hall spends term time inspiring the next generation of young musicians as Director of Music at Twyford Prep School, Winchester. Despite this, he has found the time to prepare for and pass his LRSM in Piano Performance, the letters sitting very comfortably alongside MA (Cantab) and FRCO!
On top of this, the sequel to his very popular book on practical music theory There’s more to playing the piano is now in its final draft. There’s EVEN more to playing the piano will be published this summer and will offer a fantastic and original look into advanced music theory and its application.
If you’ve been on one of David’s Applied Theory or Composition weekends, the news that his musical The Mysterious Monster of Loch Ness was recently performed by years 3 and 4 will bring a smile to your face. We wonder whether it will be performed of a Saturday night on a weekend course?
Warren Mailley-Smith finds it extremely difficult to sit still. In the last year, (following pure determination to continue performing – taking his concerts online during covid lockdowns) he has become one of the busiest “live” concert pianists in the UK, racking up a staggering 150 performances in 12 months.
Somewhere amongst all of this, he has found time to record two Chopin Piano concertos!
Florian Mitrea also has a lot to celebrate this year! His latest Beethoven CD Unending has just been released on Romanian national radio. He has performed again, live on BBC Radio 3 and will be back later this year to present his new CD release. Listen out for him!
Further afield, Florian has been invited to take part in the Enescu Festival, performing Prokoviev’s first piano concerto with German conductor Christian Reiff. He’s also making his first trip to Hungary, spending this summer as pianist in residence at the Crescendo Summer Insitute, Tokaj, giving masterclasses and concerts.
Back here in the UK, aspiring musicians are also very lucky to have the chance to be examined by Florian. He recently became appointed full practical and performance grades examiner by the ABRSM. There’s no stopping him!
Instead she has turned her attention to creating a range of tutorbooks for young beginners. Launched just this week, Penelope’s The Essential Piano Technique series draws on the principles of The Complete Pianist to develop a strong foundation of healthy technique in young pianists – whilst having fun at the same time!
According to a guest on William Westney’s recent course here at Finchcocks, his teaching was “highly illuminating”. You can find a thorough, accessible insight into his approach to practice and performing in his groundbreaking book The Perfect Wrong Note.
During his stay with us, William also read to guests from his next, forthcoming book Eros at the Piano: The Life-Energy of Classical Music. Delving philosophically into our relationship with music, the piano and practice, this book is a must for those who enjoyed his first – and want to be inspired in virtually every aspect of musical life: from practising to teaching, technique to connecting with audiences! Be sure to click on the Reviews tab to read some of the early feedback. It can be pre-ordered here and will be published in August here in the UK.