Biography

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Scottish pianist Alasdair Beatson works prolifically as soloist and chamber musician.  Highlights of 2017 include concerts in London’s Wigmore Hall and Kings Place, Zurich’s Tonhalle, West Cork, Ryedale, Resonances and Ernen festivals, and collaborations with Adrian Brendel, Philippe Graffin, Pekka Kuusisto, Alexander Melnikov, Pieter Wispelwey, the Doric String Quartet, Meta4 and the Nash Ensemble among many.

Alasdair is renowned as a sincere musician and intrepid programmer.  Alongside a particular affinity with the classical repertoire and the music of Schumann and Fauré, he often explores the more exotic: Catoire, Pierné, Thuille; Debussy’s Jeux (in the composer’s arrangement for solo piano); Ligeti Horn Trio, Thomas Adès Piano Quintet; and piano trio arrangements of Debussy’s La Mer, Janacek’s Kreutzer Sonata, Shostakovich’s 15th Symphony (with 3 percussionists) and Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht.  His concerto repertoire includes works of Bach, Bartok, Fauré, Hans Abrahamsen, Hindemith, Mozart, Sally Beamish, Stravinsky, Messiaen, appearing in recent years with Britten Sinfonia, Moscow Virtuosi, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Sønderjyllands Symphony Orchestra and Tapiola Sinfonietta.

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2017 sees the release on BIS of a recording with Alec Frank-Gemmill of 19th century music for horn and piano, recorded on four exquisite historical pianos (and four fantastical historical horns) spanning 1815 – 1895.  This release joins an acclaimed discography of three solo and numerous chamber recordings, on BIS, Claves, Champs Hill and SOMM labels.

A regular participant at the open chamber music at IMS Prussia Cove, Alasdair took part in their tours of 2007 and 2011, and collected the 2008 RPS Award for Chamber Music on their behalf.  He has enjoyed working closely with composers George Benjamin, Harrison Birtwistle, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Heinz Holliger and Helena Winkelman.

A former student of John Blakely and Menahem Pressler, Alasdair is increasingly drawn to education, teaching annually on the Musicworks summer courses, and giving regular coaching or masterclasses at London’s Guildhall and the Royal Welsh schools of music, and at Birmingham Conservatoire. Alasdair is founder and artistic director of the French chamber music festival Musique à Marsac.