Faculty Members

John York, Piano

John York is well known on five continents as a musician of personality and compelling enthusiasm in a wide range of pianistic and pedagogic activities.

Press reaction to his recent performances has highlighted his

«impressive achievement in revealing the symmetry and perfecting the internal clarification (of Debussy and Ravel) - a world pianist scaling the heights - leaving everyone breathless with a whirlwind of stunning virtuosity - giving himself opportunities to display the humanity within the music and giving us moments to enjoy the humanity within the pianist» (Melbourne Australia, The Age)

«exquisite refinement of tone and style and virile brilliance were the hallmarks of the concert» (Yorkshire Post)

«a seriously good performer giving a celebration of the piano itself» (Ripon Gazette)

«an elegant sense of poise and crystalline clarity marked the performance... York's sensitivity and the refinement of his touch and articulation ... an amiable coalescence between the virtuosic and the expressive» (Melbourne Herald)

«York2 go stratospheric in their world première Black Box Music recording of The Planets…raw energy…bright new details of previously unglimpsed territory…cosmic keyboard…haunting translucency of figuration» (The Times)

«this was enough to confirm the (Wigmore Hall) evening in its ambition, scope and sheer grit as something exceptional – duly exciting a prolonged ovation from its capacity audience» (The Independent)

His career, launched in 1973 when he was awarded the International Debussy Prize in Paris and marked by an auspicious début at London's Wigmore Hall in 1974, has taken him around the world as soloist, with such orchestras as the London Philharmonic and London Mozart Players, and as a chamber music partner, primarily with cellist Raphael Wallfisch, and in the piano duo team of York2. He is often a guest with international artists such as clarinetists James Campbell and David Campbell, the Allegri quartet, the Lindseys, the Wihan quartet, the Beethoven String Trio of London, singers Patricia Rozario and Sarah Walker, violist Rivka Golani, among many others.

Recordings include many albums on Crystal Records of Los Angeles, on the Meridian and Marco Polo labels (York Trio), on Cala Records' complete works for piano and winds of Poulenc, Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Debussy, on LondonHall (York2), on Naxos/Marco Polo with Raphael Wallfisch – and, significantly, on EMI Eminence, where York and Wallfisch played the full Beethoven cycle, hailed as 'Editor's Choice' in Gramophone Magazine, Feb. 1997, and as 'Critic's Choice' in Gramophone, March 1998 – only to have it deleted!.  On Black Box they play the complete Prokofiev works and the cello/piano works of James MacMillan in recordings that have received rapturous reviews – the latter again selected as ‘Editor’s Choice’ in Gramophone, Jan. 2001.  John plays the complete solo piano works of MacMillan on two BBM cds, ‘Raising Sparks’ and ‘Kiss on wood’.  In 2003 there were new Wallfisch/York discs of Poulenc, Schnittke, Shostakovich on BBM (yet another ‘Editor’s Choice’) and Ysaÿe, Franck and Lekeu (on Cello Classics) and York2 are available on BBM in recordings of Poulenc to follow their release of a cd of all Holst’s piano music, including the world première recording of the composer’s own 4-hands (one piano) version of ‘The Planets’, widely praised in the music press.  In January 2005 Wallfisch/York released a new complete Beethoven cycle again, this time on Nimbus and Cello Classics, also including the rare Op.19 and the cello version by Czerny of the 'Kreutzer' – and now they are featured in the first ever recording of the newly discovered Sonata of Zemlinsky, lost for a century but found and revived by them, alongside works of Korngold and Goldmark, for which they are again receiving the highest accolades.

In the Autumn of 2004 John celebrated his 30 years in ‘the business’ with a York2 gala concert at Wigmore Hall.  In Spring of 2005 York2 played in Sydney and Canberra.

Major institutions at home and abroad value his role as an inspiring communicator and pedagogue. He has worked with students of the highest level at Margess International of Switzerland, the Australian National Academy and at the New World Festival in Venezuela.

In the UK he is Professor of 32 years' standing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Senior Music Head at the illustrious St. Paul's Girls' School in London.
He acts as consultant, presenter and composer for the Trinity/Guildhall examinations service, and music publishers, notably Boosey and Hawkes, Faber and Ricordi, make use of his editing, composing and arranging skills. His lively, informative and entertaining work as writer and reviewer for 'Piano' Magazine and ‘Tempo’ Quarterly is a further reflection of his rounded musical character.

38 Caterham Road
SE13 5AR  

Tel:  +44 (0)20 8318 1824
e-mail: john@yorkpiano.co.uk